Disclaimer: I do not own any of Naruto or things associated with it.
Praise: I would just like to thank my amazing Beta Reader, WarrioroftheSeventhStar, for not killing me while she edited this chapter. I am not the greatest writer in the word, but I make the ideas and she makes it make sense. Thank you! The readers really appreciate it!
That previous message was actually from my beta reader, the great friend that she is. I owe much to her. Though the message does still stand. I don't know what I'd do without her. Anyway it's been a while since I last put out a chapter, but life has been hectic and I kind of lost the will to write. However some very loyal people out there started to send me reviews asking me to carry on so I decided it's best to carry on and attempt to create a chapter from the ashes that it was.
Pain – Kyuubi or summon/demon talking
That's all I know- Thinking
Whispers of breathing flowed through the room. The two teens lay asleep under the thin sheets, curled in each other's embrace. Sakura lay observing her lover, and was fascinated at small ways his expression changed over the last half hour. She lay on Naruto's chest comfortably, one of his strong arms wrapped around her waist, the other behind his head. Sakura knew that her blond hadn't awoken yet, for neither his heart nor breathing deviated from a sleeping pace. She lightly traced the kanji over his heart. She was firm in her faith that he was lost to Morpheus.
Until Naruto spoke, "You're staring." He didn't even bother to open his eyes.
"Umhmm…" she mumbled. Her hand relaxed onto his shoulder, ceasing its writing.
"It's creepy," he joked. Sakura loved the groan he always had when he had just woken up.
"It's romantic," Sakura answered back calmly, a smile beginning to play on her lips.
Naruto couldn't keep his composure any longer and his own smile slid across his face. Opening his eyes he rolled over so that he was on top of the pinkette. "That is true, my love," he whispered as he gazed into her emerald eyes.
Sakura wrapped her arms around the blonde's neck as he leaned down and started to lay soft kisses on the pinkette's lips. Pulling away from the pale goddess, Naruto placed his hand on her cheek, his thumb gently stroking her feather soft skin. His eyes softened and he lovingly whispered, "You're so beautiful. I don't know how I lasted so long without you."
Touched by his deeply meaningful declaration, she placed her hand on his cheek, mirroring him. Her eyes sparkled as she spoke, "I would stay here forever…with you."
"As good as that sounds, we do have a team to get back to, and I don't want either sensei or kaa-san having to come in here and drag us out of your room," reasoned Naruto.
The emerald eyed woman blushed at the thought the embarrassment she would be faced with, as well as the talk she'd probably receive from her parent afterwards, "Fine," she stated.
The blond rolled off the bed to let out a satisfying yawn and stretch. The pink haired teen admired his body as his back muscles rippled under the golden skin. As he moved, some of his joints cracked as they work out a bit of the stiffness. Turning to look behind him, the blond looked to his pinkette, still drowning herself in the blanket, and snuggling into her pillow. The entirety of the scene in front of him made Sakura only look more adorable in his eyes.
"Where's your shower?" the demon asked.
"Down the hall, to the left. Why?" she replied.
"Well, I don't want to stink before training, do I?" he responded rhetorically.
"Fine," she yawned back before submerging back into the pillow and breathing in deeply. Realization only hit Sakura once Naruto had walked out of the door. Jumping out of bed, the pinkette rushed to the door and flung it open. Peering out, she saw Naruto walk down her hallway: clad only in boxers, scratching his disheveled black-red-blond hair, going towards the bathroom. There was a clear line of site from the sitting room down stairs to where Naruto was. Sakura immediately noticed her father sitting on his chair, reading the paper. All that it would take would be one small glance up from the man's morning ritual, and things would go downhill faster than light even dreamed of moving.
She was pleasantly surprised when he walked straight into the bathroom, without alerting anybody to his presence. Letting out a breath she hadn't realized she was holding, Sakura rolled her eyes and walked to join her mate. Walking into the bathroom and locking the door, she turned around to find Naruto brushing his teeth at the sink. Raising an eyebrow, Sakura asked, "Umm Naruto-kun, whose toothbrush is that?"
He turned from the sink with a toothbrush in his mouth and garbled, "Mine, I teleported to my apartment and grabbed it. Towel too." Sakura smiled and shook her head; maybe all of the old Naruto wasn't gone. Part of his blasé attitude was there, it was just more cool and unimportant way. As he rinsed out his mouth and brush he said, "Can't kiss you with a dirty mouth, can I now?"
Kissing her cheek, he pulled off his boxers and stepped into the shower, "You coming?" Her response was simple. She pulled off her nightwear, and stepping into the shower with him. She was glad the shower cubicle was small, as it gave her an excuse to stand close to Naruto. A light blush moved up her face when she remembered that she didn't need one.
The first few drops of water that hit their bodies after the pinkette had turned the water on were freezing causing her to shiver and grip the blond's body for warmth; however, the water soon warmed up. Once her body grew warm enough to leave the blond she grabbed a hold of the sponge and started to wash herself. Knowing that they didn't have much time before they had to reach the training ground to meet their team, the demon container had managed to catch a quick glimpse at the clock in his mates' room before he left; they had about twenty minutes before they were supposed to meet up.
Quickly passing the soapy sponge over his tanned body, he then stood in front of the spray of water to wash it off. Scrubbing any soap that was left in his hair out, the blond turned off the water and stepped out of the shower cubicle. Grabbing his black towel from near the sink the blond started to quickly dry himself off.
Meanwhile Sakura was doing likewise, albeit slower with her pale pink towel. Once Naruto had finished drying himself and had wrapped his towel around his waist, he turned around to see Sakura finish wrapping the towel around her head.
Unlocking the door, they quickly made their way back to Sakura's room. The medic walked over to one of her cabinets and started to pull on her undergarments, before methodically moving to her cupboard to put on her uniform. On the other side of the room by Sakura's bed, the blond was pulling on the clothes that he had dumped by the bed the previous night. As he tugged his wife beater over his head, he heard Sakura say, "You know all this sneaking around is kind of sexy. It reminds me of one of those forbidden romances."
Sakura pulled on her ninja boots. When the sounds of two low booms reached her ears, the pinkette found herself being pushed against one of the walls. She felt her back against her mate's chest, one of his hands on the wall next to her head, the other wrapped around her waist.
"Well I think we have time to make it a little more forbidden," he whispered huskily into her ear. Kissing down the silky column of her neck, Naruto tended to the mark with his lips. His kisses started to turn into nibbles, occasionally sucking on the skin where the demon mark lay.
The sensitivity of the mark made Sakura give out a low moan as jolts of electricity coursed through her body. She wasn't able to move her hands around much, yet she had somehow managed to snake one hand around Naruto's neck, making sure he didn't stop his ministration, while her other one stayed pressed against the wall.
Sakura started to grind her toned rear into the blonds' crotch, earning her a gravelly groan. Naruto soon found his body moving on its own. His grip around the pinkette's waist tightened, and he started to grind himself harder against the pink haired teen, pushing her further against the wall, making sure that his body was fitted to every single curve and dip on her back. Even his kisses along her neck and shoulder had started to become more aggressive.
Sakura's eyes were screwed shut, her body had started to grow hot and needful, she had trouble breathing properly, and it had now grown ragged filled with gasps and moans of pleasure, each one gradual louder than the last. The two teens had started to lose themselves in each others passions; the world around them had becoming nearly non-existent. Being allowed some space by her lover, Sakura quickly spun around and smashed her lips against the blond, tongues dancing in union. Sakura pulled Naruto closer once more. Dropping his hands to her legs, he pushed his body against hers and raised her off the ground slightly. Once more, Naruto attacked her neck causing his mates body to arch in pleasure. They were almost completely unaware of what was happening outside of themselves.
The moment there was a knock on the door, Naruto's lips moved from Sakura's neck, so that he could look at the door. Sakura's eyes shot open the moment she heard her name being called by a masculine voice. She quickly grabbed the blond by his top and pulled him into the closet, before shutting the door on him. Sakura pulled up her collar and combed her hair in an attempt to cover the love bite, or bites, that her mate had inevitably left. Glancing at her mirror, she noticed that she was all red; she tried to calm down in an attempt to remove it.
When the door opened it revealed an averagely built man, with brown hair. His eyes were a shade darker than Sakuras; he was probably a few centimetres shorter than Naruto, about the same height as Sasuke. It was at this time that the pinkette noted that her parents interrupting her private time, with Naruto was starting to become a regular occurrence. "Sakura, a note was left beneath the door for you. I think it's from your sensei," said the older man, passing a piece of folded paper to his daughter.
Taking it from him she uttered an, "Arigatou, tou-san," before opening up the letter. It read:
Meet at the bridge.
Tell Naruto too.
Try to keep your hormones in check, especially considering that you're in your parents' house.
Quickly shutting the piece of paper, a blush made its way across her face. Kakashi had been watching them again.
Shannaro! That perverts been peeping on us again. I say we castrate the bastard!
"Is everything alright Sakura-Chan?" questioned the elder Haruno.
"Umm, hai tou-san, it's just sensei being sensei," answered the pinkette, as she tried to keep her blush from darkening.
"Oh," he replied before his eyes narrowed, "is someone here?"
The medic's eyes shot open at the surprising question. Her eyes shot to the closet for a moment, "No, why?"
Walking over to a piece of black clothing on the floor, Sakura's father picked it up, showing it to be Narutos cloak. "Then what's this," inquired the pinkette's father pointedly.
The teen's heart started pounding in her chest; she knew she was utterly screwed if her father found out that Naruto had stayed over. Using all her experience as a ninja she did what she was trained to do. Lie. "Oh that? Well one of my team mates lent it to me because I was all wet after training. We had to spar, and somehow we ended up at the waterfall. It wasn't pretty, or dry." Sakura hated lying to her parents, but she did it to avoid a verbal beating.
"Is that the truth?" pushed her father, eyeing her up to spot anything that would give her away.
"Hai tou-san," she replied adding a smile for effect.
"Okay then, make sure you give it back to them," he said believing his daughters tale, and handed the garment over to her before leaving the room.
As he closed the door behind him, the pinkette let out a sigh while Naruto exited the closet. "Well, that could have gone in an entirely different direction," added the Jinchuriki.
"Definitely, I'm just glad you didn't pull the same stunt like last time," Sakura voiced, letting out a breath.
The blond let out a small chuckle and wrapped his arms around the pinkettes waist and pulled her closer. "True, but you can't say that you didn't enjoy it," replied the blond, burying his head in her neck.
Pushing him away and giving him a mocking smile she said, "That's not the point. The point is that you really need to stop putting me in embarrassing situations." She pushed a bit of chakra into her fingers when she forcefully poked him in the chest.
"I still don't hear you denying that you enjoyed it," Naruto pointed out mischievously.
The comment left Sakura looking away from him with a heavy blush and a bad stutter, "Well, uumm, it was..." The pinkette tried to explain herself.
Laughing a bit more, the blond placed a finger beneath her chin and lifted it up so that she was looking him in the eyes, "It's okay Sakura-Chan. I was only joking. Now, what did Kakashi-sensei say?"
"We're meeting the team at the bridge, instead of the training ground today," answered the pink haired teen.
"I'll meet you there then, because I need a fresh pair of clothes, OK?"
"Hai," Sakura leaned up and placed a soft kiss on the streaked blond's lips, "see you there," and with the small gesture of affection, the demon container disappeared in a column of black flames.
***- five minutes later Team 7 meeting point: Bridge -***
Sakura was completely ready by the time Naruto had left. This wonderful little detail meant that all she needed to do was to walk to the bridge. Instead of her usual chakra enhanced bounds across the rooftops, she decided to walk and enjoy the sights of Konoha since her house was only a few minutes' walk.
When she came upon the bridge spanning the small river, the pinkette spotted a person dressed in all black hunched over one of the bridges red railings. Feeling that it was her mate, she started to slowly walk up to him. Knowing that he already knew that she was there, Sakura made no attempt to hide herself from him. Wrapping her arms around him, Sakura quietly peered over his shoulder to see what he was doing. The pinkette found the blond carefully carving a neat message into the wood of the bridges rail, with one of his thin black kunais. Sakura couldn't help but smile at message he had carved into the bridge.
Naruto and Sakura forever.
Just as the blond swept away any leftover dust from the engraving with his thumb and sheathed his kunai, Sakura expressed her opinion on the engraving, "That is incredibly cheesy," the pinkette joked lightly.
"It's incredibly romantic," Naruto countered Sakura of with her own words, turning to her with smile visible on his face beneath his hood.
"It's still incredibly cheesy, but it's also incredibly sweet," finished Sakura, kissing him on the cheek, before hoisting herself up, enabling her to sit on the bridges railing. Swinging her legs around so that her feet where hanging over the water, she looked down and watched the catfish swim by.
Swiping away any more dust one more time, the blond followed the actions of his mate and sat on the bridges railing, legs over the water, and hands on either side to stabilize him. The pink haired medic placed one of her smooth hands over Naruto's rough ones, her fingers slowly curling around it. The pair was captivated by the sun reflecting on the rippling on the water, while fish swam beneath the shimmers. An utterly picturesque scene. Sakura tilted her head back and stared at the sky and spoke softly, "Naruto-kun, do you think, now that you've forgive sensei and Sasuke, that Team 7 could go back to the way it was?" Her jade eyes cut over to the man sitting next to her, a hopeful look in eye.
Naruto looked at Sakura in the same way, an impassive look plastered on his face, "No," he answered simply, while Sakura looked broken. A smile then replaced his impassive visage, "I think it's going to be better." The emerald eyed beauty smiled and let out a small breath through her nose.
Noticing how close they were again, Sakura's grasp on the blonde's fingers tightened slightly, her foot intertwined with Naruto's. Closing her eyes, Sakura started to lean into him. Knowing what his pinkette wanted, Naruto closed his eyes and leaned in to capture her rosy lips in an innocent kiss. After the blond pulled away, he looked behind him to see a person standing coolly on the other side of the bridge, leaning against the railings. Sasuke Uchiha. The raven haired teen was relaxing against the bridges railing, legs crossed, staring at the trees. Looking at the pair as if he just realized what's happening he said in a mockingly considerate voice, "Oh, don't mind me, you two carry on. I'm not even here." Shrugging his shoulders, Naruto leaned in once more to kiss his beloved, but stopped when Sasuke said, "I only joking you know."
The blond glanced towards the raven haired teen and replied with a cruel smirk, "I know." He then started to lean in again.
Sasuke summoned a small black shuriken between his index finger and middle finger, before lightly flicking towards the pair. The black stared piece of metal sailed through the small gap between the pair, separating them once more. Narutos head stayed in place as he felt the wind ripple on his face, he gave a small smile and let out a little laugh. "You know if we're making you uncomfortable, then you just have to tell us," remarked Naruto. Sasuke simply looked at his team mate, giving a silent answer. Meanwhile, the team medic was a little bit surprised, Sasuke was one to always keep a calm head, and the action he just took seemed like something Naruto would do. It seemed like she wasn't the only one being influenced by Naruto.
However before anything else could be said the Jonin of the squad appeared in a puff of smoke. "Sorry I'm late, I was lost -"
Kakashi was interrupted halfway through his usual lame excuse by Naruto. "Drop it sensei," started the blond, pushing off the bridge moving backwards of his seat, he looked like he was going to fall off but disappeared in a low boom. Reappearing beside Sasuke, who looked unaffected, Naruto leaned on the bridge railing just as coolly as said person. "We all know where you were. We understand," finished the Jinchuriki.
Kakashi looked at his squad and could see the truth of Narutos words in their eyes, had it not been for his mask they would have been able to see the silver haired man smile. Turning back to his usual happy and aloof persona Kakashi chimed, "Right then, let's start training before we go and get a mission from Hokage-sama." Once Kakashi had finished, Naruto caught the eye of Sakura and he gave her a subtle nod. Sakura gave a small nod of her own, and jumped of the bridge railing and started to follow the blond.
As the pair started to head towards the training grounds, Kakashi asked, "And where do you think you're going?"
"Training," Sakura replied.
"What type of training exactly?" Kakashi questioned further, curious to know what they were up to.
"Sensei," started Naruto seriously, "I've put my trust back in you to be the sensei you promised us to be. But now, I need you to trust me that what I'm doing with Sakura-Chan is only going to help her."
Knowing that the blond said was true, Kakashi let them go saying, "Fine, just don't hurt each other too much, we've still got a mission to do."
As Naruto and Sakura started to walk off Kakashi said, "They're going to have sex again, aren't they?" Sasuke simply shook his head in disbelief.
And as if by some divine, well demonic, means Naruto called from over his shoulder in a deadly calm manner, "And by the way Kakashi-sensei, if you peek on us again, I'm going to burn your entire book collection right in front of your eyes, before I let Sakura-Chan slowly and painfully castrate you." As soon as Naruto mentioned that Kakashi started to sweat bullet before dragging Sasuke off to start training. He couldn't let them touch his poor, innocent babi—books. He meant books.
Naruto and Sakura stopped in a small clearing surrounded by dense forest. The blond pulled out his sword and slammed it into the ground so that it was sticking up from the earth. Turning around so that he faced Sakura, he began to speak, "As you have learned to utilize your demon chakra, you will now learn to use it in the middle of a combat situation. And unlike before, you will not be facing a clone. Instead you will be facing me." The pinkette was surprised that she would be facing Naruto himself and began to worry what would happen if she landed a demonically enhanced punch to his face. She had seen the effects of them and she didn't think that even the blond could survive that, regardless of his freakishly quick regenerative capabilities.
"But Naruto-kun, if I hit you with a punch while using the Kyuubi's chakra, then I could really hurt you; potentially kill you," Sakura carried on rambling about the possible injuries and fatalities that could occur.
Naruto was becoming slightly annoyed that Sakura didn't think he would be able survive a small spar, considering he had defeated almost the entire Akatsuki single handed. "Sakura!" Naruto interjected, "The life of a shinobi is one filled with death and injury. It is the life we choose to lead. This will be the first true step into our world. If you can attack me without the need to hesitate, then you will not need to think when you engage and kill an enemy."
"Hai," Sakura saw the fire in Narutos eyes as he passionately spoke, Sakura steeled herself, before she spoke the words.
Naruto walked over to the sword and place the palm of his hand on the hilt. When he lifted his hand off of it; a dark red flame appeared atop the hilt of the blade. "Neither of us is allowed to use demon chakra until that flame reaches the bottom of the blade. Fear not, I won't go all out until you can use demon chakra."
Thinking that her mate was getting a bit cocky, Sakura tried to rebuttal him, "Don't get ahead of yourself Naruto-kun. Don't think you can beat me so easily, I could probably…" Sakura stopped her sentence when the sound of a low boom reached her ears and the feeling of the sharp edge of cold metal touched her neck.
Naruto had teleported right in front of the pinkette, pulled out a kunai and lightly pressed the tip of it on her jugular. The blond moved so that his mouth was next to the medics ears. "Remember Sakura-Chan you may be my mate, but I can still beat you in a fight with ease. You are not at my level…yet. But fear not, my demoness, soon you'll become a cherry blossom of death, where none can stand in your way. Just remember who the alpha is."
The green eyed teen could feel Naruto's elongated canines tickle her cheek, slowly dragging down. The scent of the blond flooded her nose, while the dark words that trickled from his mouth sent shivers up her spine. From the past few days, through all his kind gestures and new caring attitude, Sakura had forgotten how dangerous Naruto was. He was a dangerous animal. A demon. The alpha. The fact was further enforced by when the blond start to drag the blade down her throat, light enough so that it didn't cut her, while still pressure to drive home the point. The blade moved down her neck onto her clothing where Naruto dragged it down the valley between her breasts to her stomach, where he spun the kunai round and sheathed it on his back. The two sides of Naruto had once again clashed at the same time. While Naruto was pulling the kunai down, he was simultaneously sliding his free hand down Sakura's side. The terrifying combination was making the pinkette's legs weak, enhanced by the feel of Naruto staring to smile on her cheek. However, as soon as Naruto had started he stopped and teleported away to his original position, shouting, "Hajime."
As soon as the words left Naruto's mouth, the pinkette's heightened senses kicked in, her vision sharpened as she set her eyes on her target. Rushing forward, she pumped chakra into her fist as she threw it towards the blond. However, Naruto had teleported before making contact. Felling the air vibrate behind her, Sakura stopped her current attack and threw her elbow backwards, only for it to meet an open palm. Crouching down the medic reverse swipe kicked the blond. However, as her leg came in contact with her mates' leg with enough strength to break bone, he disappeared in smoke, proving it to be just a clone.
Having almost no time recoil from the faint, she noticed three kunai speeding towards her. Pivoting backwards to avoid most of the kunais, Sakura surprised herself when her body reacted on its own and grabbed one of the kunais midflight. Spinning round once more, in a crouching position she threw it with even more force towards its pint of origin. Even as she was in mid-swing, she realized that this left her unbalanced, so she rolled forward into a standing position.
Two Narutos jumped out of the tree tops into the air. One of the two grabbed the other one and tossed him full speed at the pinkette. Pulling out a pair of shurikens, Sakura threw them at the blond speeding towards her. As they sliced into his skull, he vanished in a puff of smoke, another clone. Looking for the other Naruto that had jumped out of the trees, Sakura scanned the area. However, she was quickly distracted by something on the edge of her vision. Looking to her right, a torrent of dark red flames rushed towards her. Slamming a chakra enhanced foot into the ground; a large piece of earth rose up from out of the ground. Gripping it, Sakura prepared to use it as a shield against the incoming flames. As the angry attack smashed against the boulder, the forced pushed Sakura back a bit while the flames licking the rocks surface.
Pooling chakra into her arms, the pinkette threw the boulder into the Jutsu; towards its user. Noticing his flames were fanning, Naruto stopped his Jutsu and rolled to the side, flying through another set of hand seals, he put two fingers to his lips and spouted another series of smaller fire balls. The medic's newly enhanced senses kicked in. She could feel her eyes dilate and her muscles tense, ready to move of their own accord. Barely even noticing, she weaved in and out of the fireballs paths, like a graceful ballet dancer. As she twirled around to avoid the final fire ball, her hand slipped into her pouch and pulled out four pellets between her fingers. Using her spin as momentum, Sakura launched the pellets towards the blond.
As they impacted in front of the Jinchuriki, a plume of smoke erupted around him. Pulling his arm up to cover his nose, he couldn't help but take in the scent of the smoke. Noticing something slightly off about the smell, he took another small sniff. His enhanced sense of smell was able to distinguish what it was. Black powder. Narutos eyes widened at the revelation. Meanwhile the pink haired teen had pulled out a kunai, with an explosive note attached and hand thrown it towards the black cloud. As the explosive note entered the cloud, it exploded, setting off a chain reaction by setting the black powder alight. Soon Naruto was consumed in a fireball.
The medic knew that the attack wouldn't have killed Naruto, he was far too resilient. She did hope it would be enough for her to capitalize upon, though. Those hopes came crashing down when the fire subsided, only to reveal a dome of shadows. Once the dome has dissipated, it revealed a perfectly fine Naruto. Gritting her teeth, the medic charged forward, throwing three punches: one for his head, one for his side, and the final blow for his abdomen. The demon container blocked by pushing the first fist to his right, swiping the second attack down and the last attack to the left, enabling him to jump up and deliver a round house kick to the pinkette's head.
Only for her to drop down, and avoid it completely.
Coming up again, she tried to deliver a swift kick to the blond who was in mid-air. Yet he managed to dodge it by twisting his body around the kick. Making him land on his hands, spinning around on them, the blond threw his legs out and tried to kick Sakura.
Stepping back from the first attack, the pinkette was able to grab hold of Naruto's other leg. Spinning around, using her super strength she flung the demon into the air before flinging three shurikens at him. Forming a familiar cross shaped symbol, a clone appeared in Naruto's flight path, using it as a pedestal. He used the clone to change his direction back towards his sparring partner. Noticing the three incoming pieces of black metal, he created another clone, to be used as a shield. As the projectiles impacted with the clone, it disappeared. Heading straight towards his mate, the streaked blond flipped in midair, to deliver an axe kick. Flooding her arms with chakra, to soften the blow, Sakura pulled both her arms in front of her face.
Once his axe kick was blocked, Naruto sent chakra to his left leg and stamped down on Sakura's arms, he did a quick back flip in the air he and landed a few meters away. However, the force of the stamp pushed Sakura to the ground, as he back his the ground she threw her legs over her head, making her roll backwards before pushing off with her hands, adding a bit more distance between them.
Her eyes quickly shifted to the blade noticing that the fire was starting to die out near the ground, smiling to herself, she attack once more. She closed the distance between, in one leap making herself completely open just like she hoped. Spotting that Sakura would be unable to defend herself, Naruto was about to teach her the importance of defense. As she closed towards him, he put all his power into a single punch. However the moment he made contact, Sakura turned into a log. The force of the attack sheared the log in half, splinters flying out. Turning around Sakura was once again in midair a fist aimed for his face, shifting his body to the right, he dodged her fist. Throwing a palm forward, he caught her by her neck.
However as soon as he did so he noticed that, who was holding was actually a shadow clone, due to the different sent. Narutos head shot to the left, Sakura appeared out of thin air, using the Jutsu he had taught her yesterday. Another fist cocked back ready to deliver a finishing blow, but as it neared the blond caught it with an open palm. What he hadn't expected was to feel a third fist to connect with the back of his head sending him spiraling forward into and through some trees. Making sure to keep him down, the pinkette flashed through some hand seals and shouted, "Earth Style: Vine Restraint," thick vines shot out from the ground and wrapped around the blonds arms and legs, pinning him to what remained of the tree he landed in.
Walking over to Naruto's sword, Sakura plucked it from the ground and sauntered over to Naruto, her eyes silted green, a sinful smile on her face, "Surrender. I win."
Naruto was still processing what had happened. The first Sakura he had caught was a shadow clone and so was the second, meaning that the one who punched him was the real pinkette. That meant in the time it took him to destroy the Body Switch she had created two clones, put a Demon Art: Invisible Fox on one and most likely herself, and then made them attack from different directions, ensuring he couldn't counter all of them. The Chuunin couldn't help but smile and be proud of his mate, clever girl. She's learning. But he had one more lesson to teach her today.
"You should never stop until your opponent is dead or dying," said Naruto.
"Huh?" was Sakuras response, confused. But her eyes widened, as sixth sense was screaming at her to move. Slowly moving her head to the left, time seemed to slow down as a red eyed Naruto slammed a fist, full whack, into her stomach. The blow had completely winded her; her entire body had gone numb and lifeless as she keeled over. The sword in her fell from her feeble grip and clattered on the ground. The medic fell onto her knees and gasped for breath. Naruto pulled himself from the grasp of the vines and looked down at his mate.
I think you may have gone overboard a bit kit.
Maybe, but it's the only way to learn, plus it's how you taught me.
You're made of sterner stuff.
And so shall she, finished the blond.
Picking his sword up off the floor and sheathing it on his back, Naruto lifted Sakura up bridal style. "Come on, I think that's enough training for the day," whispered Naruto caringly.
The pinkette gripped onto his cloak, "I almost had you," she wheezed out, as her breath started to returned to her.
Naruto smiled at her fortitude. "Almost," he whispered as he walked off carrying his mate while she nuzzled into him.
***- Team 7 Bridge-***
As Naruto approached the bridge, he spotted Sasuke leaning on one of the railings arms crossed with eyes closed, while Kakashi, predictably, had his nose stuck in his orange book. The blond felt some shuffling in his arms. Looking down he saw Sakura trying to get out of his grasp. "It's okay I can walk," she said strongly. Relaxing his grip, Sakura slipped out onto her feet and wobbled slightly. As her mate came to steady her, she raised her hand to stop him. She didn't want to appear weak, and she definitely didn't want to be babied.
Layering her right hand with green chakra, she started to fix up the blow she had been dealt. After doing a small diagnostic Jutsu, the medic noted that she didn't have any internal bleeding. She had assumed that the strength of the blow would have ruptured a few blood vessels. There were some signs of blood outside of the vessels, but her body was already on the way on clearing it up by diffusing it back into her blood stream. In conjunction with this, she knew she had a cracked rib, but now there only seemed to be a hair line fracture in its place, and even that was healing up. Deciding to speed up the job, she knitted the keratin of the bone back up so that it was as good as new.
Note to self, check up on advanced healing rate.
Shutting his book and looking to the couple Kakashi said, "It must have been quiet a session if you left Sakura unable to walk Naruto." Of course he had to follow that comment up by the infamous eye smile. The blond knew what his sensei was getting at, but instead of retorting, he settled for a death glare. "We have received notification from Hokage-sama, stating that she has a mission for us," explained the silver haired Jonin.
The blond couldn't help but let a smile break through. Oh why do I feel that there will be blood, the Kyuubi laughed inside of his head. "Well then what are we waiting for?" answered the Jinchuriki, setting off in the direction of the Hokage's tower.
- Hokage Tower
Tsunade was sitting behind her desk listening to the client's situation. It was a tanned girl of about sixteen years old, shinning blond hair, large eyes that looked like pearls, with high defined cheek bones and slightly shorter than Sakura, wearing a very expensive dress. She had requested a team of Jonin to escort her to her destination; however she was currently running low on Jonin as the majority had been already sent out on missions. In addition her case didn't seem to require a mission ranking of A; it was a B at best. What was slightly unusual about this case was that the client already had two bodyguards of who were both Samurai, as well as this the client was also a…
Tsunade had been brought out of her musing by a knock at the door. "Enter!" she called. As the door opened, she couldn't help but smile as Team 7 walked through the door.
The team moved beside the desk and got down onto one knee, heads bowed, "You summoned us kaa-san" Narutos voice rung out.
"Team 7 you are to escort Princess Yuki to the land of Beaches and ensure her safety until after her wedding. The princess has already lost two of her body guards to bandit attacks, so be warned," the ninjas took the Hokages explanation of the mission as a command to stand, "This mission will be labelled B rank."
"Hai," was the unanimous reply from the squad.
"Princess Yuki, while I am unable to give you a squad of Jonin I assure you that this team is more than capable of protecting you."
"They will do," responded the princess in a stuck up manner. Sauntering over to Sasuke, she placed a small hand on his chest. "Mmm, they most certainly will," the princess stated again sounding flirtatious, while looking over Sasuke. Tall, dark and handsome, thought the princess, that was until her eyes looked over the rest of the team and landed on Naruto. Leaving the Uchiha, she walked over to the blond swaying her hips, taller, darker and even more handsome, placing both her hands on his chest and standing on her tip toes she mover her face closer to his so she could see beneath his hood. The smell of her perfume entered his nostrils, his nose twitching slightly at the sudden change in scent; it was expensive, exotic and all together…. Unappealing to him. The blonde's eyes shifted down to her small form, "So tell me good looking what's your name?" Naruto's head rolled over towards where Sakura was standing, an annoyed look on her face. His eyes sent her and the team a clear message. This was going to be a long trip.
"Princess Yuki, you shall meet team 7 at the eastern gates in fifteen minutes," spoke Tsunade.
Not responding to the Hokage the princess started to leave the room, her hand lingering on Naruto's chest longer than Sakura would have preferred. Yuki left the room, her samurais filling in after her. As the door shut behind them all eyes turned to the blond buxom, "There is second part of your mission. It to ensure that the Land of Beaches signs this trading agreement with us. While the country mainly relies on tourism as its main source of income, the country does have a few valuable recourses and items that they produce which would be a valuable to the village. And don't complain about the mission! Your team should be on leave for a few more days, you'd normally be pulling D-ranked missions at best," the Sannin added in the last part due to the looks on Naruto and Sakura's faces.
Tsunade pulled out a bottle of Sake. Sakura immediately reprimanded her, "Shishou, you know you're not supposed to be drinking while working!"
"Ah! Give me a break Sakura, I've been doing paper work all day and this bottle is dying to be drunk."
Naruto noticed a few new added features to the Hokage's office. There were a number of new art work pieces decorating the wall, she had a new chair, and there was a recliner in the corner of the room. Judging from the smell of the Sake, it was also pricey. "Seems like you've got a bit of extra money on hand, kaa-san," Naruto said nonchalantly.
"Well it's not like I just won a huge bet," she said sarcastically, the alcohol making her tell a bit more truth than she should have.
"You've been gambling again Shishou, what did you bet on this time," sighed the pinkette.
"You two," she replied giddy.
"What," both teens asked simultaneously. Realizing the implications off what she said Tsunade instantly sobered up.
"What exactly did you bet on kaa-san?" asked Naruto sounding dangerous.
"Umm how long before you two would hook up and…" she said going quiet.
"And?" prompted the medic, a tic mark appearing on her forehead.
"Ummm howlongbeforeyouwouldgetinea chotherspants," said Tsunade very quickly.
"Can you repeat that again and slower this time kaa-san," asked the demon container.
Meanwhile, Sasuke was at the back of the room with Kakashi, a smile as two of his best friends interrogating the Hokage. "How long before you two got in each other's pants," the Hokage replied slower and quietly, poking her fingers together like a small girl who had done something wrong.
"I assume were going to get some compensation for this?" stated Naruto, in monotone.
Tsunade looked up to find Narutos arms crossed, however the blonde sensed a deal,
"What do you want?" asked the Hokage,
"Two weeks leave, of our choice" answered Naruto. He leveled her with a glare, "paid."
Tsunades breathed in deeply, the price was steep. That was quite a bit of money out of her own pocket no doubt and if he imposed those two weeks when they were Jonin it would be even deeper. However it would save her from the combined power of Naruto and Sakura's wrath. "Done," stated the Hokage.
"And who else was involved in the bet" added Sakura.
"It's a long list," said Tsunade trying to save her fellow gamblers.
"Give us a couple names now and a list when we get back," answered the vixen quickly.
"Kakashi and Jiraiya," sighed Tsunade.
Naruto turned around to face his sensei,
"Well, as much as I enjoy seeing two Chuunin terrorize their superiors, need I remind you that we still have a mission," voiced Sasuke.
"We'll talk about this later," the blond said, eyeing the silver haired Jonin before leaving the room.
- Konoha Eastern Gates
Team 7 stood waiting expectantly for their clients to arrive. After five minutes of standing idly, Princess Yuki and her remaining two body guards arrived. Upon seeing Naruto, the princess rushed up and grabbed the blonde's arm and holding it to her chest, "So Shinobi-kun, are you ready to protect poor little me."
Meanwhile, Sakura was becoming increasingly annoyed at the Princess flirty attitude. Her instincts as Naruto's mate were telling her to rip the bitch's head off. Must not kill the client, must not kill the client, Sakura repeated the mantra to herself.
That doesn't mean we can't maim her, piped inner Sakura.
Kakashi came and stood in front of Naruto and Sakura, then unrolled a scroll. "Considering that you two are now in a relationship, above that of friendship, I am required to read out this mandate to you," the princess sneered at hearing that the aforementioned pair were dating, "While partaking in any mission or representing the village outside of its walls you are here by placed under the 'no-touch- act. By which meaning you are forbidden to engage in any actions together that are deemed unnecessary. By disregarding this rule, you will be charged with fraternization. You will be punished by the commander of the mission, as they deem fit. You will then be subjected to interrogation and possible suspension of shinobi duties by the Hokage."
The princess smiled after the rules had been read out. "However, considering that it's you two, I have a feeling that you're not going to listen to those anyway, so there really is no point me enforcing them and I doubt Tsunade-sama will say anything," finished Kakashi in his care-free tone, throwing the scroll onto the floor. The princess once again scowled.
"Right Team, let's move out. Naruto, Sakura, you take point, me and Sasuke will bring up the rear," ordered Kakashi, leaving the samurais to do as they pleased. Pulling his arm from the princess' grip, Naruto started to walk out of the village, giving Yuki almost none of his attention, to which she gave a small huff.
Great a whole mission with a stuck up princess, the blond thought as their journey started. Sakura feel in a meter to his right, with Sasuke and Kakashi behind them, so that they were in a square. While the samurais decided to walk outside the shinobis perimeter.
- Land of fire: Forests
The group had been walking for roughly an hour. Since they were moving at a civilian's pace, they were moving at a considerably slower speed than any of them would have preferred. Their plan was to travel to Sunagakure, where they would take a small break. Then from there they would travel North East to a port town where they would take a ferry to the Land of Beaches.
For the most part, the journey had been fairly boring; the only annoyance was the Princesses constant advances. Had she not been the client, Naruto would have killed her in an instant. A small crack resounded through forest; suddenly a number of arrows flew from out of the bushes from different directions. Yuki screamed as she spotted an arrow flying towards her face. However, before it could pierce her skull, it stopped right in front of her left eye.
The blond shinobi to her left had caught the arrow midflight, before dropping it, an impassive look spread across his face. Sasuke and Kakashi had both swerved to avoid the arrows; Sakura had surprised herself when she was able to bat away the arrow using the back of her hand with relative ease, most likely due to an increased reaction time.
One of the samurais had been lucky as the projectile had missed its mark and soared harmlessly to his left. The second samurai wasn't as fortunate because and arrow had impacted him squarely in the chest, sending him to the group, clutching his bleeding wound shouting out on pain, before he died. One final arrow flew a short while after the rest; most likely one of the attackers had notched a second one and had fired again. Slicing through air, it was aimed for Naruto's head. Turning so that he looked at the arrow, he waited till it came closer. A few inches from his face, the projectile shattered into a number of pieces and fell to the floor.
Noticing that their initial attack had failed, the ambushers decided to reveal themselves. Seven bandits stepped out of their hiding places, wearing ragged pieces of clothes which were mottled colours of browns and whites. Each one of them was brandishing some form of weapon. One of the bandits stepped forward; he wore a bandana around his head and was slightly larger in comparison to the others, wielding a spiked club. "Give us all your valuables and we'll let some of you live," shouted out the lead bandit in a sneered voice.
Once he finished, Naruto couldn't help but let out a dark laugh. "Hahaha, do you honestly believe that you would be able to beat us?" replied the blond, turning around to his team he then asked, "Alright should I deal with them or does one of you want a go?"
"Hey listen to us! This is a muggin'!" shouted the lead bandit realizing that he was being ignored. As the Chuunin continued to ignore him, the bandit ordered for another arrow to be fired. The bandit to the leaders left pulled back the arrow and let it fly towards the blond. As it flew through the air it was again shattered before it was able to make contact with Naruto's back. The gang of bandits started to look worried at this.
Stepping forward and placing a hand on her mate's shoulder Sakura said, "I think I'll have a shot at them." She smirked and cracked her knuckles. Walking towards the enemies, she settled into a fighting stance and started to channel chakra.
"So the little girly want to play with the big boys huh," taunted one of the bandits.
"Don't you think we should help her?" asked Sasuke coolly.
"She can handle herself," was the blondes reply.
The pinkette surveyed her opponents, seven in total, probably a bit of work for a Genin, but for a Chuunin it was easy blood. A short bandit grew impatient and ran forward, screaming with a meat cleaver above his head. Spotting that his whole torso was unprotected, the pinkette pulled back her fist, laden with chakra. She delivered a cut straight to his stomach; she could feel his diaphragm tear and his liver and kidneys rupture beneath the blow. The small man dropped his weapon and clutched his stomach; blood ran down from his mouth as he vomited some of the red substance onto the floor. From the blood washing back into his stomach he would soon die.
Running forward towards another bandit, she threw a fist giving a one-two combination to his face, before spinning around and delivering an elbow to his temple; caving it in. Feeling a disturbance in the air behind her, Sakura ducked bellow an axe swiping for her neck. Spinning around on her knees, the pinkette shot up and grabbed the man by his head and threw him to the ground, before giving him a chakra enhanced kick to the stomach, sending his flying into a tree. The force of the impact broke his back, which was easily heard in the small area. The demoness had started to channel demon chakra. Turning around she spotted a katana wielding bandit, running to him, she immediately blocked a swing by grabbing hold of the man's arm. Kicking down on his knee cap she broke it, bending his leg inwards making the bandit give out a scream of pain. Ripping the sword, along with his hand, from its socket she spun around and stuck the sword in bandit's side. The blood spurting from the man's stump coated the pinkette's hand and left leg in blood. She grabbed the man in a head lock, before pulling his head sharply to the left, breaking his neck. The lead bandit thought he saw an opening and attacked. However, sensed that he was trying to attack, she back handed the club with a chakra infused fist shattering the club. She then punched the leader in the gut; each successive hit was harder than the last. The power of the blow caused him to cough a bit of blood onto Sakura's face. The final strike on the bandit leader was an uppercut to his jaw, shattering it and sending him to fly through the air, where Sakura threw three shurikens into his back.
Turning back to face her team she was surprised when one of the bandits, seemed to appear out of nowhere a short sword already on a path to her chest. Her body seemed to move on its own as she shifted her body weight to the left dodging the majority of the blow. The bandit had managed to cut her left bicep, looking down to the bleeding wound for a moment, she was once again surprised when a small wisp of steam emerged from it closing up the wound. Looking back to the bandit, who was frozen in amazement at what had happened, she let out a dark smile, which could rival Naruto's own. The pinkette's right hand shot to the bandit's neck, her fingers curled around his throat and her claw-like nails cut shallow groves into his skin, causing blood to flow. Slowly squeezing harder, she savored the intoxicating power that she held in her hand. The power was amazing; the fear in a person's eyes in their last moments of life was seductive. The man's breathing became deep and ragged as Sakura started to contract her grip on the man's throat, her claws dug into his skin further causing the man to bleed even more. Sakura gave one last squeeze, the man's neck seemed to give some resistance, before Sakura's grip crushed it. His body dropped to the floor lifelessly, as the bandit fell to the floor; it revealed one final member of the gang, who looked like he was ready to wet himself.
Seeing the murderous look in the pinkette's eyes, he ran in the opposite direction. However, this led him out of the frying pan and into hell, for he was heading straight for Naruto. As he closed in on Naruto, he swung his Kama desperately at him. The Jinchuriki moved to the left to avoid. The swing had left the bandit unbalanced, which Naruto took to his advantage. Punching the bandit at the base of his spine causing him to fall to his knees, as he fell, the blond grabbed hold of his head and fell to his knees, this broke the bandit's neck. Standing back up normally, the dead body rolled off to the side, its lifeless eyes staring at Princess Yuki.
Listening around for any other signs of movement, finding none he called out "All clear." Sasuke and Kakashi stood shocked at what had just happened Sakura had just killed six people without batting an eye lid. This wasn't the same woman who had cried her eyes out when she had first killed. Kakashi and Sasuke soon recoiled from their shock and started to perform checks to their situation. Kakashi first checked over Princess Yuki and found that she was perfectly fine, if a bit shaken.
The Uchiha went to see how the surviving samurai was, "Samurai-san, are you all injured?"
"I am uninjured Shinobi-san," after helping up the samurai, the raven haired man went to check on the final member of the party. Going down onto one knee, Sasuke placed two fingers on the samurai's pulse. There was none. Looking to his sensei he shook his head.
"I'll send a summons back to Konoha to send a team to pick up the body," told Kakashi. Running through a number of hand seals and slapping the ground Kakashi called out "Summoning Jutsu," a small brown dog appeared in a puff of smoke. "Pakkun, I need you to run back to Konoha and give these co-ordinates to Tsunade-sama, she'll send a team to pick up the body and return it home."
"Hai," replied the dog, before running off towards Konoha.
Sasuke walked up to Sakura and asked, "Sakura? Are you okay?"
"Huh?" replied the pinkette slightly dazed.
"You just killed six people Sakura, are you feeling alright?" The Uchiha reinforced placing his hands on her shoulders.
Meanwhile, the princess was holding herself, still in shock about the situation; she hadn't seen her other bodyguards die as they had stayed behind to defend her while she was taken away. "S-she k-killed them," stammered the princess.
"Yes," was the cold reply coming from Naruto, "It's the life we live. If our mission dictates it, we kill. She killed for the sake of your safety." The blond looked over to Sasuke and Sakura, his mate was staring at the blood covering her hand, she was shaking slightly. Walking over to his brother, Naruto lightly placed his hand on his shoulder, "Sasuke," the sharingan user turned around to face him, "I'll handle this. You and Kakashi go on ahead. We'll catch up."
"Okay," was his simple reply, nodding in trust to the blond. The Uchiha walked over to the silver haired Jonin and told him the plan. Understanding the reasoning behind it Kakashi turned and started to lead the princess back onto their journey.
Once Naruto was certain that the group was out of ear shot, the blond gripped his pinkette's hand. The blood was still wet. Noticing the slight change in pressure Sakura looked up to see who it was. And she found a smiling Naruto, "So tell me my vixen, how does it feel?" he asked referring to killing.
"It's… it's indescribable," started the medic nin, "the power it feels sinfully good and the look in their eyes before they die is beautiful, it feels. It feels….."
"God-like?" finished Naruto.
"Yes. I want… I want to do it again, the ability to take life. I want more," confessed Sakura looking up into Naruto's own orbs.
The blond could see the emotions swirling in those green slits. Letting go of Sakura's hand, Naruto placed his own upon her chin. "Don't worry my cherry blossom of death; you will have another's life in the palm of your hand soon." The Jinchuriki ran his thumb over the pinkette's full rosy lips, removing a drop of blood on them that was marring their perfection. As he passed his thumb over her lips once more, he found Sakura's lips curling around them and taking it into her mouth. The pinkette's tongue started to swirl around Naruto's thumb. Her new found lust for killing was soon replaced for a lust for something else. Both equally as dangerous.
Removing his thumb from her mouth, he drew her lip down slightly before letting go. Sakura opened her eyes and looked back up to Naruto wantonly. "We can't have blood on you, now can we?"
"No," the pinkette replied raggedly, the rush of her demon chakra and adrenaline mixed with the increased concentration of hormones her body was producing was causing her body to quiver and her breath to be uneven. Her breathing quickened as her hands slid up to Naruto's shoulders and brought him down, while she roughly covered his lips with her own. The blonds' hands moved to her pink and black hair, allowing himself to state his own growing desires for his mate. Sakura's arms wove around Naruto's neck. She flicked her tongue against his lips, begging for entrance. Complying with her request, he parted his lips and allowed her entrance. The blond could feel her slide her wet appendage over his own.
However, as soon as the kiss had started it ended.
Naruto knew that they had a mission to attend to and that the team would probably come looking for them if they didn't return soon. "Come on Sakura-Chan. We've got to clean that blood off you. Trust me; you don't want to have dried blood on your skin until we get to Suna. It feels horrible," said Naruto. Pulling out his water canteen and a rag from Sakura's medical pouch, he started to clean away the blood on her face while Sakura cleaned away the dried up substance on her arms. There was some blood in her hair. She would have to wash it out properly when they passed a river. After ten minutes of cleaning the pinkette was mostly cleansed of the life fluid. He helped her repack the rag, and then they turned silently and jumped back towards their team.
It had taken about three minutes to reach their team and the annoying client. They were currently in a tree, just above the path of their escort. Naruto jumped behind Sasuke and lightly placed a kunai to the back of his neck. Sasuke visibly tensed at the feeling of the cold metal on his throat. "You should have been on guard brother," warned Naruto. He pulled the kunai away and patted his friend on the back and returned to his position with the group "Could've killed you."
"You could have killed me regardless of whether or not I was aware of my surroundings," retorted the Uchiha. Kakashi noticed that Sakura quietly jump down into her position. The Jonin read her body language, which was surprisingly relaxed, but alert. The silver haired man looked to the blond. Feeling that someone was staring at him, the streaked blond turned around to Kakashi. He saw the silver haired mans eyes flick to the teams' medic for a moment, then back to Naruto. Knowing what the man was silently asking, he nodded his head, letting him know that Sakura was fine.
Seeing an opportunity to flirt once more the Princess walked over to the blond demon and gripped arm in a vice. "You know it was really impressive, not even Kakashi-san noticed you," flirted Yuki, "and the way you defeated those bandits; you're so strong, I really should thank you for it." She couldn't help but finished drawing circles over his clothed chest.
"Actually it was Sakura-Chan who defeated the majority of the bandits. I just disposed of one of them. If you wish to offer thanks do so to the person who deserves it," replied Naruto monotonously, making the princess mar her face with a momentary scowl. "I also advise you to let go of my arm, my defensive capabilities are being drastically reduced, and the chance on me stopping another projectile from entering your skull is being significantly lowered," the demon finished deadly calm. As the pearly eyed princesses heard these words, a look of shock spread across her face, followed by her letting go of the blue eyed teens arm suddenly and returning to the centre of the square, not bothering to thank Sakura for saving them earlier. Naruto caught a smile spreading across his green eyed lover's face.
- A few hours later: Fire/Wind country border
"Ohh my feet hurt from so much walking, can we take a break?" whined the princess, sitting down on a long before rubbing her feet.
"We had a break three hours ago," Naruto said coldly.
"But I'm not as strong as you are Naruto-kun," said Yuki. He couldn't help but roll his eyes. That was very obvious. Whinny brat couldn't do anything for herself except annoy them.
"Yuki-sama, it is not advisable to rest. We must carry on if we are to reach our destination by the designated time," the remaining samurai added in.
"SILENCE!" shouted Yuki, with authority, "I did not order you to speak."
"I think it would be best if we set up camp," interrupted Sasuke, "Neither Yuki-sama, nor the samurai are as adapted to moving at night as we are. It would merely be a hindrance; it would be more effective if we rested, then moved again in the morning."
Taking into consideration what the Uchiha said, the blond nodded and said, "Okay, well rest up and set out in the morning."
Kakashi, Sasuke and pulled out a storage scroll and unrolled it on the grassy floor. Individually they bite their thumbs and swiped it across the seals. Their camping gear appeared in a puff of smoke. Noticing that the Jinchuriki hadn't summoned anything Kakashi joked, "Forgot your tent Naruto?"
"No, it's going to be warm tonight, there'll be no need," he replied. Acknowledging Naruto's answer the Jonin went back to setting up his tent, unsure how exactly Naruto could tell what the temperature would be like tonight.
Scratching the back of her head, the pinkette once again noticed the dried up blood that was still in her hair caused it to stick together in uncomfortable clumps. Her ears perked up slightly at the sound of running water coming from the east. Summoning her toiletries from her scroll she stood up and announced, "I'm going to go to the steam to wash my hair out."
Sasuke looked around their campsite carefully, making sure that he hadn't actually missed such an important feature. Seeing no water, he looked at his team mate oddly, "What stream?"
"The one over there, can't you hear it?" responded the medic, pointing into the tress.
"No," he replied confusion evident on his face. Oh yeah! Enhanced hearing! I forgot, thought Sakura.
Luckily, her blond demon came to the rescue, "There is a stream. I can hear it," he said nonchalantly, while setting up a small fire. With that the pinkette set of into the forest.
"Don't you think that you should go with her," advised their sensei, the blond shot him a sceptical look, "To guard her I mean," reinforcing his meaning.
"She more than capable fending for herself, need I remind you that she did just kill six people," Kakashi kept an impassive face against the chuunin's comment.
- With Sakura
The pinkette had found the stream she heard from the camp. Placing her toiletries on a small flattened rock, she knelt down beside the flowing water. The stream wound around moss covered rocks, with the surrounding area grassy with a few pebbles dotted around. Squeezing out a generous dosage of scent-killing shampoo, she merrily started to run it through her hair from root to tips, trying to loosen any clumps of coagulated blood. While she would have rather smelled nice for her Naruto-kun, she wasn't willing to compromise the mission by giving away their position from scent. Once she was satisfied that she had shampooed her hair thoroughly, she leaned forward and began to rinse it, along with the blood.
Pulling up from the water, Sakura wrung out any excess water from her pink locks while she reached behind her for the towel. She placed the majority of her weight on her right hand, but due to the slimy moss she lost her grip and fell forward. Her right palm slid over a sharp rock, opening up a gash across her palm. The sudden pulse of pain caused her to inhale sharply, before bring her hand up to inspect the wound. A small dribble of blood seeped from the wound. Sighing to herself, Sakura brought medical chakra to her palm, but stopped the moment she started to feel a burning sensation on her palm, looking back to it a small wisp of steam was rising of the closing wound. The med-nin stared in amazement at what had happened; previously, she hadn't been able to appreciate the wonder of the enhanced healing ability which she had just acquired. Wanting to experiment with it further, she reached into the pouch on her leg and pulled out a kunai. Pointing the tip of the blade towards her thumb she made a small incision, roughly two centimeters. She then began to count the seconds till her wounds had fully healed, 10, so it takes about ten seconds for smaller wounds to close up, however it's probably two times slower than Naruto-kun's regenerative abilities, if not more, Sakura thought to herself.
- Back at camp
The team had finished setting up camp, while the princess sat on a log in front of the fire. Looking up to the sky, the blond noticed that lack of clouds and the clear view of the starry nice. The combined effect of that, and the crisp clean air on the blonde's enhanced senses created a calming effect on him, Kyuubi, you may want to come out tonight, the sky is clear and I know how much you enjoy the stars.
Mhh yes, I yearn to feel the cool breeze of the night on my fur and the sight of the tiny diamonds of light against the darkness.
A large swirl of red chakra emerged from Narutos stomach, taking the form of a fox, twice the size of the mightiest stallion. Princess Yuki screamed at the terrifying sight of the nine tailed fox appearing out of nowhere. Everyone was quick to arms with the exception of Naruto and the sound of the princess' cry. Kakashi and Sasuke looked unsure of what to do and looked to Naruto for answers. "Fear not. He means no harm," answered the blond to his team's unasked question. Trusting in their team mate, the two relaxed and returned to normal. Well, as normal as one can be with a giant demon fox nearby.
However, the samurai was not calmed by Narutos word and stood in front of the princess, pointing his fickle blade at the Kyuubi. "Stay your blade samurai," ordered Naruto, yet he did not desist. "It would be foolish to continue. A mere blade forged by man wouldn't be able to penetrate a creature of pure malevolence and chakra. He would kill you before you strike." Seeing the folly in what the samurai was about to do, the princess put her palm of the blunt part of the blade and lowered it. Taking the hint, he sheathed the blade.
As if on cue, this was the time that Sakura decided to walk back into the camp, her hair still slightly damp. She stopped for a moment, surprised by the giant orange fox that was there when she had left the camp, but she didn't ponder too long on it as she walked round to where Naruto and the others were. It was also the time that Princess Yuki decided to speak up about her small problem, "Umm Kakashi-san," she called, "I don't have a tent."
"Didn't you have one packed? Where did you stay when on the move," inquired the silver haired Jonin.
"We never slept in the wilderness, we always stopped in a village and stayed in a hotel," she answered sheepishly. Sighing and shaking his head, the closet pervert asked his team, "Did anyone bring a spare tent?"
"Yuki-sama can borrow mine, I'll stay outside with Naruto-kun and Kyuubi," opted Sakura.
"That's the Kyuubi!" cried out the princess, a fresh wave of fear in her eyes and face as she backed away, realizing what the fox truly was. I wonder how many other giant nine-tailed foxes there are out there, dead panned Sasuke in his mind.
"Are you sure Sakura? It could get cold," said Kakashi.
"It'll be fine. Plus I'm sure Kyuu-kun will keep me warm, won't you Kyuu-kun," Sakura finished the last part in a cutesy voice, while scratching the giant fox behind its ear.
The demon lord's eyes started to flutter and let out a purr from Sakura's ministration.
Hmm, yes vixen. Kyuubi let himself enjoy the pinkette scratching him. Apparently, having Naruto mated to her also had benefits to him. He could get used to this. Once the scratching had stopped, the Kyuubi opened his eyes to find Naruto, crossed armed looking at the pair. "Oh the mighty Kyuubi, brought to his purring mess by a mere mortal," His container joked.
As I recall kit, the vixen does the same to you.
"I'm not that bad," he argued, looking over to Sakura. His heart jumped slightly when she winked at him and sent an air kiss, before going back to setting up the tent for the client. Turning back to the fox he replied, "Point proven." Kyuubi just let out a barking laugh.
"So I'm guessing that the samurai is bunking with Yuki-sama then?" said Sasuke, nobody missing the happy undertone in his voice.
"You are correct in your assessment shinobi-san," answered the bodyguard, who then crawled into the tent after the pearly eyed princess.
"Right then, I'll take first watch," called out Naruto ready to jump off into the tree line.
"Oh no you don't," Sakura cut in, pulling on his arm, "Knowing you, you'll stay up all night, not bothering to wake anybody else for their shift. And I don't think anybody would be brave or stupid enough to attack, with a giant fox guarding us, isn't that right Kyuu-kun." By now Sasuke and Kakashi had also decided to retire for the night, leaving the couple and the giant demon fox to their own devices.
"You know you can't treat him like some pet. He is a Bijuu you know," explained Naruto.
"Oh, I don't think he minds, do you Kyuu-kun," she cooing to her blond lover, squatting down and once again scratching the Kyuubi behind his ears. The fox's reply was to descend into a fit of purring.
The blond just shook his head and started to pull off his cloak and place it down on the floor beside the giant orange fox, before taking off his sandals. Then, he sat down on his cloak and leaned his head on the Kyuubi's stomach, which was gently rising and falling with the beast's breathing. The emerald eyed woman soon followed suite: taking off her ninja boots, before lying down and cuddling up to her blue eyed lover, intertwining her legs with his. Snuggling her head into his chest, the Kyuubi lightly placed two of his tails over the couple to act as a blanket. Running her fingers through the orange fur on the tails she said, "Your fur is really soft Kyuu-kun." She cuddled into it, too. Letting out a sigh, Naruto placed his hands behind his head and started to look up at the sky. Curious as to what the blond was staring intently at, she found that it was the beautiful night sky. It reminded her of when they were Genin and they used to stare out at the sky, lying down on grassy fields. "The stars really are beautiful," whispered Sakura to nobody in particular.
In all my millennia, the stars would always interest me; I would gaze at them wondering what their purpose was. Only recently have I come to the conclusion that beauty requires no purpose.
The pair took in the age old demon's words. Looking from the sky down to Sakura, Naruto said, "But they're not nearly as beautiful as you." Love filling his eyes as he stroked her cheek. The emerald eyed teen couldn't help but at blush at his comment and hid her face in his arm for a moment.
Looking up to him, she replied, "You're hopeless, you know that?" Leaning up, she placed a gentle kiss upon his lips.
While I agreed that you two could lay on me tonight, that doesn't mean I will allow you to mate in my presence, warned the demon fox.
"Hai Kyuubi-tou-san," replied Naruto jokingly. The Kyuubi didn't reply to his container's remark, but the teens could feel his tails tighten slightly around them as his body curled around them further. The two laying on him were part of his pack and he would defend them.
Naruto slowly became aware of his surroundings as his body woke from its slumber. Rubbing his eyes, he looked to his left to see Sakura still sleeping soundly. Looking up to the sky, he judged that by the moon's position, it was about five o'clock. Looking back down to the pink haired teen beside him, he watched as her eyes scrunched slightly before opening. She looked around hazily as her vision returned to normal. "Come on Sakura-Chan. We have a mission to complete," said Naruto.
Letting out a small yawn the medic-nin replied, "Hai, hai."
Pushing the Kyuubi's tail off them, Naruto stood up and stretched; rolling his shoulders to loosen his joints up, while Sakura went to wake their team mates. The blond walked in front of his demon and kneeled down. Rubbing the fox's head, he said, "Time to wake up, old friend." The demon lord opened up his red eyes and let out a yawn, revealing his mouth of swords. His muscles rippled beneath his fur as he stood.
I believe it is time for the hunt, called the Kyuubi, as he sniffed the air. Catching a scent, he charged off into the trees.
The pinkette opened the flap to her team mate's tent and said, "Sensei, Sasuke, time to walk up. We've got a princess that needs her palace." There were a few groans of protest as their bodies woke themselves up. Walking over to Naruto, she looked at him, then at the remaining tent, "Who's going to wake the client?" she asked.
"Not me. I am in no mood to deal with a pampered princess first thing in the morning," replied Naruto coldly. The sounds of yawns and bones popping drew there attention to their now awake team mates.
"Sleep well?" asked Kakashi.
"Like I killed someone," replied the blond.
"Soooo?" asked the Jonin, reiterating the question as he was unsure of the previous answer.
"Well," was the simple reply.
"Who's waking the client?" asked Sakura.
"I'm going to bathe, considering cleanness is next to godliness. Sasuke, you coming?" replied Naruto. Quickly realizing the save the blond had given him, the Uchiha replied and followed. The squad leader looked to the team medic.
"Hey, don't look at me. I woke you two up. Time to start pulling your weight," said Sakura as she walked off to start a fire to cook breakfast on.
Shaking his head the sensei muttered, "What kind of a team did I raise?" Walking over to the final tent, Kakashi kneelt and opened the tent flap. "Yuki-sama, you must wake up. We are going to be setting off soon," he urged. She just moaned and rolled over. "Yuki-sama. Yuki-sama!" However, this time he received no response. Deciding that there was only one way to wake her up, the silver haired man channeled a bit of lightening chakra and zapped the princess. She shot from her sleeping bag and let out a yelp. This brought about the pinkette's attention, who looked over to her sensei. She heard him say, "Oops," and shrugged. She just shook her head as she poked the fire.
"What time is it," snapped the princess, unsure of whom she was talking too.
"Five o'clock," the Jonin replied.
As her senses came to her and she realized to whom she was talking to, she instantly sweetened up, "Oh Kakashi-san, is it really necessary to be up this early."
"It is if we want to make it to Suna," that was a lie. The Jonin knew it was probably two days hard run at a shinobi's pace, and right now they were going slower than a normal civilian's pace.
"I see, I shall be out once I make myself presentable," and with that Kakashi walked off.
A few minutes later, the two male Chuunin of the squad walked back into camp, drying the top half of their bodies with their towels. Sasukes was navy, Narutos was orange. Naruto heard Sakura stifle a small laugh, "Something funny Sakura-Chan?" asked the blond.
"Orange? Really Naruto-kun?" referring to his towel.
"The others were in the wash," he retorted.
"Riiight," was her exaggerated reply.
The conversation was stopped when the princess decided to crawl out of her tent. As she looked, up she found Naruto and Sasuke, half-dressed in front of her. She had to cover her nose to stop the small nose bleed from the two god-like figures in front of her. Composing herself into her princess visage as she had been taught, she politely asked, "What will we be having for breakfast?" At that moment, the Kyuubi ran back into their encampment, dropping two deer.
As the demon lord started to tear the flesh from one of the animals, Naruto replied, "Veal." The princess looked sick at what the demon had brought.
"I guess I'm on cooking duty," stated Sakura, as she started to skin the carcass.
After roughly half an hour of cooking, the pinkette had produced a steaming hot pot of veal stew. Adding a few final spices for taste, the medic started to distribute generous portions of the stew to each member. Carefully blowing on it, Naruto took in a large spoon full. His mouth was filled with a wondrous taste, so good that it cause his jaw to hurt. "Wow Sakura-Chan, this is really good," complemented the Jinchuriki honestly.
"Thanks Naruto-kun, my Kaa-Chan taught me how to cook," she replied smiling. Other than that small conversation, breakfast was a relatively silent affair while everyone enjoyed the food. As breakfast drew to a close, each member of the team left to pack up their kit and seal them back into their scrolls. The morning had taken longer than expected. We need a way to quicken up the pace, otherwise this mission could drag on longer than necessary, and I'm sure there are more pressing missions that Kaa-san needs us to take care of, thought Naruto.
An idea suddenly came to him as he saw the Kyuubi. "Right squad, we've wasted enough time as it is, let's get going," ordered Kakashi.
"Wait," called out Naruto, the whole team turned around to find out what the blond wanted. Running through a number of hand seals, he shouted out, "Summoning Jutsu," three puffs of smoke appeared revealing three demon foxes. One black five tailed and two red four tails. "I've figured a way we could reach Suna by tonight. We'll ride the demon foxes," explained Naruto.
The team looked to each other before Sasuke voice, "Sounds like a plan." He walked over to one of the four tails and stroking its fur. Sakura immediately mounted the Kyuubi, "You don't mind me riding you? Do you kyuu-kun?"
No vixen, purred the Kyuubi.
Shrugging his shoulders, Kakashi jumped onto the other four tails. The Samurai and the princess mounted the final demon fox, which earned them a growl; the very presence of the female dishonours me, Kyuubi-sama.
It should be honour enough that you are able to serve my container, replied the demon lord to his subject.
"Ready to go?" asked Naruto.
"Are you not riding Naruto-kun?" asked the medic.
"It'll be faster if I run, and none of the demon foxes can bear me as a burden and still run hard and fast."
"Kyuu-kun can carry both of us. Can't you Kyuu-kun?" the last part Sakura said in a pampering manner to her demon steed.
Hai Naruto-kun, I can bear you, purred the Kyuubi, not really sure what he was saying.
Shaking his head, the blond muttered under his breath, "Some demon lord." Sitting behind Sakura and encircling his arms around her, the Jinchuriki grabbed onto the orange fur of the Kyuubi. "You have a way with words, very well with the Kyuubi too, apparently," whispered Naruto into his mate's ear, she hummed a response.
The nine tails took a step forward and announced, we ride hard and do not stop till we reach our destination!
As he spoke, Sakura looked to the client, who was looking at her in jealous, an evil look clear in her eyes. However, she wisely recoiled the moment the pinkette flashed a set of green slits at her, before she lost sight of them as the demon lord sped off. The feet of the demon foxes pounded the ground as they continuously gained speeded till the sound of their running became as loud as the constant beating of war drums. The greenery of the forest moved past them in blurs and streaks of molts of green and brown before slowly giving way to more dusty and sandy terrains. Once the group was completely cleared of all the forests the demon foxes really started to pick up sped, pushing their legs harder as if the whips of their masters were behind them, leaving a large dust trail in their wake. This increase in speed caused the people riding them to lean forward and grip on tighter so they wouldn't fall off. The princess closed her eyes and was hugging her mount with a death grip for fear of falling off; however, the samurai behind her had one arm around her waist as an extra safety precaution.
The team had been riding for so long that the early morning sun had now travelled across the sky so that it was lazily hanging just above the horizon, casting its last hours of light before giving way to the darkness. Sending chakra to his eyes, Naruto's vision sharpened so that he was able to see the protective enclosure of the Hidden Sand Village. Leaning back up slightly, the blond raised a closed fist as a signal for the remaining three foxes to slow down. Reducing their speed to a brisk walk, the convoy reached the walls Suna in just under fifteen minutes.
After walking through the large fracture in the mountain side that served as the gate to the Sand Village, the group came to a complete halt in front of two sand shinobi. "Team 7 of Konoha plus clients, seeking refuge for the night," said Kakashi to the guards, showing his head band as proof of ID.
The two guards nodded in response then went to check over the remainder of the team, as one arrived at beside the Kyuubi; he looked at Naruto and said, "Sir, your Hitai-ate." Slowly turning his head to face the ninja, the Jinchuriki could see the fear in his eyes. The reason for this was due to the shadow cast over Naruto's face from his hood and the failing light. All there was in its place was blackness. A grey mist was breathed out from the blackness as Narutos breath became visible in the cool desert night; altogether, it gave a fearsome sight. The blue eyed teens moved to his forehead and pulled down the metal band slightly to show. Taking note of the meaning of the black head band, the shinobi quickly apologized, "S-sorry for the inconvenience."
"It's okay," was his reply.
"Please report to the Kazekage," ordered the other guardsmen, with that the foxes started to walk towards the building in the centre of the village.
Stepping onwards, the demon foxes followed their leader to the destination of the people that they bore. Dismounting first, Naruto turned around to see the rest of his companions dismounting too. Looking to his summons, he said, "Thank you for bearing us to our destination. That will be all."
Hai Naruto-sama, they replied bowing. Turning to their leader, they silently asked permission to leave from his presence. While they had gained their dismissal from their summoner, they had yet to be dismissed from the presence of their leader.
Dismissed, and with that the summons disappeared in charka smoke. Meanwhile, the Kyuubi dissipated into pure red chakra before swirling into Naruto's stomach.
"That journey completely ruined my hair," complained the princess.
The blond simply shook his head and sneered, "Let's go see Gaara."
After climbing the stairs to the top floor, the group found themselves in a long straight corridor. At the end was a wooden door flanked by two Jonin guards. Naruto had decided to let Kakashi take the lead as he would know what needed to be said. Kakashi turned to the secretary, who was filling in some forms. The woman was a brunette and was in what were probably her mid-twenties. "We're here to see Kazekage-sama," voiced the masked man.
"You can go in, he's been expecting you." Nodding in response the team's sensei carried on through the door to the office, followed by his team.
Looking up from the final few pieces of paper work for the evening, Gaara surveyed the people who had entered the room. "Kakashi-san," addressed the red head.
"Kazekage-sama," responded the Jonin, bowing slightly, "We humbly request a place to stay for the night before setting off tomorrow."
After listening to the request, the Jinchuriki looked over the team once more, looking more closely this time. Something had changed; he couldn't exactly spot what it was. It was that subtle. They seemed to be standing slightly closer together. Scanning each member individually, his eyes landed on Naruto and then it clicked to him, he was what had changed, and that had caused a slight shift in the team dynamics. But it also seemed that he wasn't the only one that had changed, something within the team's medic had changed and it wasn't just the black streaks that were visible in her hair. Something deeper had shifted. She had a more powerful aura around her, yet it seemed strangely familiar too him. The only other place he had felt it was with Naruto, except on a much larger scale. "Keiko," called Gaara.
"Hai, Kazekage-sama," replied the secretary as she walked through the door.
"Prepare rooms for these Konoha shinobi," he ordered. Bowing lowly, she went to do as she was told.
"Thank you Kazekage-sama," said Kakashi.
Turning to leave, the team stopped when Gaara spoke out once more, "You've changed Namikaze," Gaara repeated from their last meeting.
"What was it this time, the change in demeanor, or is it still the lack of orange?" Naruto replied, mocking slightly, before turning to leave. Gaara couldn't help but let a small smile slip and shake his head before going back to signing his paper work.
Following the brunette women along a bending corridor with doors on either side, they soon stopped. Turning on her heels, she presented a set of three keys, "Unfortunately all other rooms are filled so there are only three rooms available for the six of you, I hope this won't be a problem," she explained,
"No. It's fine. We're used to it," answered Sasuke, taking the keys from her, she gave a bow before walking off. "So who's bunking with whom?"
"Sakura, why don't you share with the princess?" said Kakashi. He was greeted with a look saying 'you've got to be joking.'
"Why don't we just keep it the same as last night? I doubt anybody's going to try and assassinate the princess in the middle of a shinobi village, surrounded by ninja," explained Naruto. He wanted his mate next to him. Also, Tsunade wouldn't be pleased if Sakura murdered the annoying woman in the night.
"He has a point," said Kakashi. "Well, I guess it's the same then. Just remember, we've got an early start tomorrow." Throwing a key to Naruto and the samurai, the Uchiha turned to open his door, but stopped when something caught his eye.
Yuki went up to Naruto and grabbed his arm then hugged it close to her chest, "Aww, but Naruto-kun I want to sleep with you tonight," she moaned unhappily. "You can keep me warm all night long."
Sasuke could see Sakura becoming increasingly angrier at a very rapid rate. Her fists were clenched white, and her eyes were dangerously narrow. "We're in the middle of a desert," deadpanned Naruto.
"Yes, but the desert nights can be very cold. Plus, I'm dying to see what's under that cloak," she flirted, fingers drifting over his abs.
"No," he replied coldly.
"Oh, come on Naru, please," begged Yuki childishly,
WHAT? Naru, no one calls Naru, Naru other than us! Kill her!
I'm already on it.
"No," the reply becoming angrier. The blond also took it that the client wasn't simply an overly pampered princess; she was an overly pampered spoiled brat, with a tiara on her head and slutty tendencies.
"Well then I order you to sleep with me. I'm paying for the mission, so you have to do as I say," she ordered.
Naruto's muscles were now tensed, his body urging him to strike the heathenness girl, but before he could react the girl was torn from his grasp by Sakura. The pinkette had grabbed the client by the collar and pushed her against the wall before lifting her up off the floor. Sasuke moved forward to stop the girl whom he viewed as a sister, but was stopped by the man clad in black in front of him, with a slightly out stretched arm and a slow shake of his head. The samurai was also quick to act, beginning to draw his sword; he too was stopped when he saw the blood red glare coming from the blond demon's eyes. "Samurai-san, the moment you intend to harm Sakura, I can no longer guarantee your safety from Naruto. Don't worry no real harm shall come to the princess," whispered Kakashi, placing a hand on the man's armour.
"Now listen to me, you little bitch!" raged Sakura, "Since the beginning of this mission, you've been trying to get your grimy little claws on my Naruto-kun. I've been through hell and back to get where I am now with Naruto-kun and I'm not going to let some fucking papered little princess, from a country that I could destroy with my little finger, take him away from me. So if I see you putting your hands on him once more, I will pound your face in so much that not even your mother will love you. He's my mate and as I am his." When the two other members heard Sakura's speech, they both though the same thing.
Mate?! Was Kakashis and Sasukes collective thoughts.
Dropping the princess onto her rear, the pinkette turned around to Naruto. She roughly grabbed the back of his neck and pulled him into a possessive kiss. Not being able to help smiling, as well as feeling prideful of his mate, he quickly took control of the kiss and wrapped his arms around his mate. She was all fire and brimstone, and he was happy to call her all his.
The princess just sat on the floor, completely stunned as to what had happened no one had the gall to address her, let alone touch her like that. Breaking the kiss, Sakura looked back to Yuki and glared. Naruto pulled her closer to him and unlocking the door. Turning back for a moment, the pearly eyed women caught an evil smile from under the hood, before walking into the room and shutting the door. "Well, there's never a dull moment I our lives, is there," asked Kakashi.
"Hn," replied the raven haired man walking into the room, leaving the princess on the floor.
The night had passed quickly for the team due to their late arrival. The demonic pair had awoken early so that they were able to eat breakfast together in relative peace. Next in the group to great the sun, were the teams' sharingan users. They decided to wait to have breakfast with the princess as a small safety precaution. Little did they know that this meant they had to wait for an extra half an hour for her to get ready, while also adding on a further forty five minutes for her to dress herself in her usual regal attire and make up. "At least we had a bed last night that I was able to sleep on, even if it was a hard," she moaned, while walking out of the door followed by the samurai in full armour.
"Ah good morning Yuki-sama," began Kakashi in his usual happy demeanor, "we'll have breakfast first, before setting off for the port."
Two floors down was a medium sized breakfast bar that was open for guests who had stayed the night, or people who came earlier enough to grab a bite to eat before work started. Their area was railed off besides a small opening which acted as an entrance. To the left was an enclosed area where the chefs would make the food. A mixture of different foods mixed in the air, giving off a mouthwatering aroma. The group of four entered the bar to find Sakura and Naruto sitting in a corner, finishing their meal. The pearly eyed princess couldn't help but seethe with jealousy when Sakura gave a small laugh at something that the streaked blond had said. When the pinkette started to feed the remainder of the Jinchuriki's rice to him, only for him to playfully dodge the spoonful made her annoyance. "They seem happy," stated Sasuke.
The Jonin only laughed and walked towards them. "Ohayou Naruto, Sakura."
"Ohayou Kakashi-sensei," replied the medic.
"Oh-" before Naruto could complete his reply, his mate had shoved the final spoonful of egg fried rice into his mouth.
"Told you, I'd get you to eat it," piped the green eyed woman. Naruto just glared playfully and shook his head slightly; Sakura repeated his action back to him, close enough so that their noses grazed each other.
They were soon stopped when a pale hand came in between them, "I'm going to vomit."
"You'd do the same with Ino if you had the guts to ask her out," shot Sakura, shocking Sasuke, annoyed that she had been interrupted with the blond.
"You got told," resounded Naruto. "Come on Sakura-Chan, we've got to get ready to set off. We'll meet you at the village gate." in reality it was just an excuse to get away from the princess as much as possible, otherwise he'd end up killing her and if he didn't Sakura would. The couple walked off to their room, pinky fingers interlocked. The breakfast that followed after was a quiet affair, due to the factor that two of the members weren't talkative and the princess was fuming at being completely ignored. Once everyone had had their fill of food they retreated back to their rooms to retrieve their stuff. Kakashi doubted that the two remaining members of his team would still be in their room and so decided to head straight to the village gate so they could get to the port as soon as possible.
After leaving the tower and returning their room keys, the group started to transverse the streets towards the villages' gate. The one eyed sharingan user noticed the clone of Naruto following them. Even if he didn't like the client, he wouldn't allow his emotions to get in the way of the mission, like a true shinobi. "It's SO hot!" complained Yuki, Kakashi and Sasuke just ignored her. They had found that it was the best way to deal with her. The group noticed two human figures near the gate, along with four other summonses. When they were within range to talk normally the princess stated, "Do we have to ride these things again," which earned her a growl from the summonses.
"Well, if we went at the pace that you set, it'd probably be another three days before we reach the port," replied the blond. "If we ride, we'll be at the port by midday and in the Land of Beaches capital by tonight." Leaving it at that, the blond mounted the Kyuubi, followed by Sakura, who had her arms securely wrapped around his waist. The other two shinobis jumped onto their beasts as the samurai helped the pearly eyed princess onto her demon fox, before he climbed on himself. The moment he had secured himself, the group had sped off into the desert. As the ground was flat along the route to their destination, the ride that the group was having was fairly comfortable, other than the occasional bump.
As Naruto had predicted it had taken just under twelve hours to reach the quaint port town that was their destination. Due to it's proximity to the ocean, there was a substantial amount of greenery in comparison to Suna. After dismounting and dispelling the summons, the squad moved on foot towards the ferry that would bear them for the rest of the voyage. Walking through the port town, the team noticed that they weren't really taken notice of, they guessed it was down to the fact that probably quite a few strangers came through to use the ferry service. They were walking along a medium sized central road, with shops lining either side of it. Carts drawn by beasts of burden, and people walked the streets going about their daily lives, while children played about their feet. The formation was that the two sharingan users took the front with the demon chakra users at the back, leaving the samurai next to the princess as a last line of defence, not that it'd ever be needed.
Walking down the road, the blond couldn't help but notice that they were being tailed by a group of three suspicious looking men who were laughing amongst themselves. Deeming them as unthreatening, the Jinchuriki carried on walking ignoring them, but kept tabs on them with his senses. However, he could smell their stench steadily approaching, slowing a fraction so that he was slightly behind Sakura, he waited to see what they would do. One of the men started to walk alongside the pinkette, Naruto's eyes caught his hand towards her rear. He was about to intervene until Sakura spun around, grabbed his arm and squeezed. Falling to his knees the sleazy looking man grabbed his arm and starting grasping out on pain trying not to scream. "You know, it's rude to touch a lady without her permission," the green eyed teen said sickly sweet, "I think you own me an apology."
"Le-" started the man, before the pinkette proceeded to squeeze harder, causing his arm to start to crack.
"I sorry what was that, I couldn't hear you?" she replied in the same tone.
"Sorry," he wheezed out.
"See? Now, that wasn't so hard, was it?" she said, releasing his hand. "You should count yourself lucky that it was me grabbed you and not him," she nodded towards her mate. "Where I would have broken your hand, he would have broken your back," she finished adding a smile. "Now run along and don't let me catch sight of you again or else I'll let my mate take care of you." The smile morphed to a deadly serious snarl. Not needing to be told twice, he stumbled off nursing his arm.
She called him mate again. What is that? It can't be a pet name they use for each other can it, I'll have to look into it later, pondered Kakashi. After a few more uneventful minutes, the team reached the docks and had bought the necessary tickets so that they would be able to board the ferry. For the shinobi, lining up in the long queue to get on to the ferry was tedious. They had to walk over a wooden ramp, with low railings on either side to actually get onto the boat. They came up to two men who checked the tickets and make sure nobody was bringing on restricted items. The majority of the shinobi squad was able to get by as they had hidden their weapons; even Sasuke had sealed his choktou to remain inconspicuous, while the samurai was let on as being recognized as a royal guard. However as they came upon the heavily armed blond, he was immediately stopped. "Excuse me, sir. We can't possibly let you on board so….armed. You pose a considerable security risk," explained one of the guards.
"I assure you, I pose no security risk. I'm merely using the ferry to get to my destination," replied the Jinchuriki, equally politely.
"He's telling you to lose the gear, bub," retorted an ignorant guard.
"I don't think I like your tone, I would be wary of yourself," shot Naruto angrily for the disrespect.
Noticing how it was going to erupt into a scene, Sasuke was quickly by the blonde's side. Flashing his head band he said, "He's with us." The politer guard nodded in response and moved to the side, while the other adamantly stood his ground. Walking past, Naruto noticed the other guard nudge his shoulder harshly; however it didn't move Naruto from his path, but knocking the guard back slightly. Knowing her mate wouldn't let the affront to his reputation go; she waited for his swift retribution. It came in the form the guard seemingly slips over the railings, crying out, into the ocean below of his own accord. But the pinkette knew better, she guessed that he had used wind chakra to push him over the edge. Her suspicions were confirmed when Naruto let out a laugh from the guards humiliation. The teams' medic giving him an 'I-know-it-was-you look'. In response he gave her one of his dark smirks, which he knew she found, 'oh so sexy.'
Taking positions around the boat to ensure that each member of the team was able to see the client while survey their surroundings, they waited for the ship to set sail. Sakura had the top deck, Kakashi sat what seemed idly at the bar, but keeping a watchful eye on the cabins. Sasuke had the centre deck, leaning on the rails to give him a wide view and Naruto was at the prow, allowing him to see down the whole length on the ship, as well as his ability to create a dozen clones and Henge them into civilians. The princess was sunbathing with her loyal samurai guard next to her. As the boat started to leave the pier, the blond stepped onto the prow of the ship and started to walk onto the end of a dragon intricately carved out of wood. Closing his eyes Naruto decided to enjoy the peace and calming nature of the ocean, a gentle sea spray passing over his face. Time seamed to roll by as he became at peace with his surroundings, something he was rarely able to do due to his fairly violent lifestyle.
"There haven't been many times that I've seen you so at peace," said a familiar voice, turning around slightly the blond found the Uchiha behind him.
"There have been few times when there hasn't been someone trying to kill me or hurt me for me to relax fully," answered the Namikaze.
"Or when you're trying to kill someone?"
"Haha, that too."
"How do you do it?" he questioned.
"Do what," was the rhetorical question.
"Kill so easily," asked Sasuke, "and be able to feel no remorse afterwards."
"Killing is easy. Dealing with it is something else. You won't fully understand how another person deals with it until you've killed yourself," explained the streaked blond.
"What exactly has brought this sudden bout of questions," inquired the blond.
"It's something you said to me. You told me that I didn't have it in me to kill. And you were right, I wasn't able to kill that Chuunin, I didn't even know him. It should have been easy for a ninja. So if I couldn't even kill him, how could I kill Itachi?"
"Our world, Sasuke, is one that is constantly changing and adapting. So must we," advised the Jinchuriki, "You will change and adapt to overcome any obstacles I your path, and I will be there to help you through it." He placed a brotherly hand on the young man's shoulder. That small gesture meant a massive amount to the raven haired teen; it had proven that Naruto had started to trust him more and that he would have the guidance of his brother. Naruto knew Sasuke wouldn't thank him, but he knew that the obsidian eyed teen appreciated it. They were both men of few words, but the look in his eyes conveyed all the gratitude that his words didn't. Sitting down on the dragon the two teens let their legs hang of the edge, "What was Itachi like? To fight, I mean."
"Brilliant," complimented Naruto.
"You sound like you admire him," questioned the sharingan user.
"I do," answered the blond, Sasuke looked skeptical, "there is nothing wrong in admiring yours opponents skill, brother. Itachi truly was a prodigy. When I fought him, the gap between our powers was clear. I was stronger, faster, and more powerful. But he was brilliant, smart and cunning. There is little hope for an opponent to best a Jinchuriki in outright combat; we are designed to be weapons of indescribable power. However, Itachi managed to fight me on even terms even though he was clearly at a disadvantage in terms of power. For every Jutsu I had, he had a counter pre-planned. For every set taijutsu stance I had, he would use his sharingan to find weaknesses to exploit brilliantly. The only reason I won was because of a demon lord being sealed inside of me, a good pain tolerance and a few lucky moments. But that fight taught me something that no one, not even the Kyuubi, could teach me. To use my head, and follow my instincts. It changed me from being little more than a mindless savage, into a refined and deadly shinobi."
Sasuke looked thoughtful, and mulled over what his team mate had told him. Itachi was able to almost best Naruto using his intellect, even with the vast difference in power levels. How could he possibly defeat his older brother considering he was nowhere near as powerful as Naruto? "It sounds like I'll never be able to beat him," said Sasuke.
"Oh I have no doubt you'll beat him, it's your destiny," reassured Naruto.
"Destiny? You sound like what Neji used to be like," laughed the Uchiha.
"No. Destiny and fate are two different things. Fate is the events that are predetermined and unchangeable. Destiny is what you make it to be, what you choose it to be. But heed my warning, Sasuke. Do not take everything that happened that night at face value. Itachi is a shinobi and there is little in the shinobi world that is black and white, when you face him, the world that you have lived in will be shaken to its core," warned Naruto. Leaving Sasuke more intrigued than confused.
"I don't understand, has Itachi told you something? Or have you found something out? Naruto if you do please tell me," asked the Uchiha.
"Unfortunately, this is something that you must find out on your own. As I said, it was not my place to kill Itachi and it is not my place to tell you what he said. I made a promise to him that I would not utter a word of what he told me to you, and of all the things that have changed in me, that is one that haven't. But know this, the answer lies hand in hand with your vengeance," finished Naruto.
Sasuke couldn't help but let out a laugh. "You've changed so much, yet stayed the same," Sasuke said cryptically. "You still have the ability to change people, just in a different way. I can see that now, they are subtle, but there. Sakura's attitudes and fighting style. Kakashi has started to turn up earlier on some days. Even me! Had it been any other person, I would have throttled them for information on Itachi, but now I sit here knowing I have to be able to wait for the answer to come. It sometimes makes me think that your words are the most dangerous weapons in your arsenal." The Uchiha had to stop talking as a fog horn signaled that they were approaching the docks.
"Well, looks like we're finally going to put the princess back in her castle," said the Namikaze.
The Land of Beaches consisted of a number of small islands, surrounding one main island roughly the size of the Wave. Each island had a major port town, with majority of the remaining land being beautiful golden reaches, with blue waves lightly lapping against the shore. The areas that weren't populated or golden shore were green lush jungles, criss-crossed with treks for slightly more adventurous tourists.
As the blond had predicted, the ferry had arrived just before night began to fall. The squad quickly left the confines on the ferry to get back on solid land, the people parting as they recognized their princess approaching. The Land of Beaches main city was drastically different to Konoha, roughly three quarters of its size. While the streets of the leaf village has a web way of narrow back streets and alleys, designed to be easily defendable in the face an invasion and easy ambushes on the main arterial road. The Land of Beaches had large four lane roads with a wide berth. There were several of these leading to the palace. Most side streets were wide enough to fit two medium sized carts side by side, connecting each main road, with very few narrow back alleys. All in all a nightmare to defend against an attacking force, however the Land of Beaches was a tourist resort mainly, lacking any sizable military force, the bulk of which consisted of the Royal Guards.
The City seemed to come alive at night, paper lanterns streamed from one side of the road to the other, guiding their way to the palace, meanwhile the night market was a throng of people all moving in different directions, causing a maelstrom of bodies, each one smiling and laughing cheerfully. The only thing that resembled what they were seeing right now in Konoha was the anniversary of the Kyuubi's defeat, and even then Naruto never had privilege of witnessing the fireworks igniting the sky as he was too busy cowering in a foetal position while being beaten by mob delivering the 'vengeance,' that his father 'wished' to deliver on to him.
Walking through the streets, people would bow to the princess with smiles on their faces. The blond quickly noticed how Yuki's demeanor changed. She stopped being a pampered brat and became more of a people's princess, smiling and waving back, but the blond put it down to maintaining a good public image. Because they had slowed down so that the client was able to wave at everyone, it took another half an hour to reach the palace gate. A huge set of twin doors carved out of wood, iron reinforcements bolted horizontally to the door. From the top of the wall, guards looked over to see who it was. The team was able to hear an, "Open the gate, it's the princess." Majestically, the gates started to swing backwards, allowing the team entry. All that stood between the team and the first half of their mission being complete, was a flight of steps. Cast from marble, the steps shone a brilliant white as the moon reflected; on either side of the stairs were neatly trimmed flower beds of assorted colours. Sakura could imagine Ino having a field day among the different species of plants. After they had finished the climb, the team came into a large open area. Sparring fields on either side, with Samurai in each of them, practicing their drills. They all stopped to salute or bow to their princess as she walked by.
The blond picked up two of them chattering, "So those are Shinobis huh? Don't look like much."
"500 Yen that you can't beat one in a spar."
"Deal." Walking in front of them and bowing slightly, one of the samurai said, "Shinobi-san, would you give me the honour of a spar." The group assumed that he was talking to Naruto, as he was at the head of the group.
"I have no wish to be used as part of a bet," replied the blond, walking past him.
"I'll have a spar with you samurai-san,I haven't been able to battle for a while," added Sasuke coolly. Perking up at the prospect, the samurai signaled for the raven haired man to follow.
Standing on the sandy arena, the Uchiha heard his team mate call out, "Just don't take too long." Pulling out his choktou, and holding it in his standard reverse grip, he faced the samurai who was holding his blade vertically. One man walked into the centre, acting as the referee. He looked to make sure both parties were ready before he quickly brought his hand down through the air, signaling for the spar to begin.
Charging forward, the samurai slashed several times at the sharingan user. Blocking calmly, Sasuke slashed horizontally, knocking his opponent's blade to the side, spinning then delivering a straight kick to the man's stomach with enough force to crack the bamboo armour, and the samurai keeled over. Grabbing him by his collar, Sasuke swung him to the ground before placing the tip of the sword on his neck. Sasuke had won the fight without even breaking a sweat. Sheathing the sword, he stated "I won." He bowed respectfully and walked back to his team.
"Good fight," called out the samurai.
"No, it wasn't," corrected the Jinchuriki. "You put everything you had into those first few strikes. Sasuke didn't even use a fraction of his power, yet he still beat you in less than twenty seconds. It must have felt like he was fighting a child."
After dismissing the samurai, he heard Sasuke say, "That was unnecessarily harsh."
"There would be no point deluding himself, it would be the only way for him to grow stronger," responded the blond. The team by now had entered the palace, the blue carpets covered the floor and stair, the building branched off into two wings, coming from two doors one on his left the other on his right. Up the stairs led to the throne room. Antique suits of samurai armour lined the walls, while crystal chandleries hung from the ceiling. A multitude of people from different social statuses wondered the halls going about their business. Until one man, the head butler judging by his uniform came in front of them. "Ah Yuki-sama, I'm delighted to see that you've returned safely, the king and queen are awaiting your arrival in the throne room, if you would follow me," and with that he swiftly turned around and ascended the stair case, with the squad wordlessly following.
After the mahogany stair case, they came to a final set of doors that stood already open, leading into the throne room. It was characterized by a high ceiling, with a large open area between the door and two thrones which sat slightly elevated by three steps. There were five large pillars on either side of the room. In front of these pillars were more suits of armour. Following the butler to the other end of the hall, they waited until he announced them, "Your majesty, your daughter, Princess Yuki-sama, has arrived, along with her samurai and shinobi bodyguards." He finished speaking and punctuated it with a low bow. After the small introduction, each member of the team knelt down before the royals, with the exception of Naruto. The samurai had taken off his helm, revealing a man probably twenty seven years of age, hair in the usual style of samurai; two needles in a small bun at the back of his head.
The king's head perked up and stared at the defiant blond intently, his eyes conveying the message: kneel. Replying to his unspoken order defiantly, "I kneel before no man."
Four guards in plated armour carrying halberds with curved blades, advanced on the blond. "Kneel before the king," ordered one. Ignoring their request, he carried on his battle of wills with the king. The royal guard used all his years of schooling to try and beat down the teen with a look, but the look in those blue eyes stirred something inside of him, as he stood there unwavering. "Insolent fool, bow before the king!" Going to strike the back of Naruto's knees with the end of his halberd, he stopped when the Chuunin suddenly looked behind. The guard caught sight of the blonde's eyes constrict, before being sent flying back to the other end of the room by an invisible force.
The king's eyes widened at the small display of power. Taking her cue, the princess ran up to the king and shout, "Daddy!" Going beside him, she started to whisper something into his ear. The blond didn't listen in on their conversation as he was busy staring down the remaining three guards, who were doing their best not to look frightened. Meanwhile, the king's face turned from distrustful to confused, looking to his daughter, he whispered something back before she quickly replied, his features turned into something akin to interest.
"My boy," the king called, slightly less formal, the aforementioned person turned his head around, "I have a proposition for you. My daughter's hand in marriage." His out of the blue comment was like a slap in the face to Sakura. She immediately stood up as this had come to involve her. The queen took not of this.
Realising that acting rashly could affect the final part of this mission, he tried to act diplomatically. "I must decline as I am already betrothed to another," answered the blond. Sakura couldn't help but smile at his answer.
"I don't think you realise the opportunity that I'm giving you here, the chance to marry a princess."
Deciding that more delicate diplomatic skills would be needed, Kakashi stepped in, "Your majesty, this would not be practical you see. Naruto is a Konoha ninja and so his loyalty lies with the village, as well as this, there is the very likely (Well it's highly unlikely) that Naruto may die on a mission, leaving your daughter widowed and it is against tradition and frowned up to break off a betrothal."
"The question was no directed as you, ninja-san, but at …Naruto," the jinchuriki's name rolling off his tongue like the key piece on a chess board. "Just imagine. You could be rich, powerful and have a beautiful woman at your side. This is an offer you can't refuse." The king's face was smiling but his voice hinted at a threat under his words.
The blond couldn't help but laugh, "You fail to realize that I don't need any of those things. Money is of little concern to me. Power? I have more power than this country could ever dream of having and I already have a beautiful woman at my side, one who I am never willing to let go. And an offer I can't refuse, you say? Well I just did." His blue eyes hardened as he finished his lament, and the lethal intent leaking from him proved even more dangerous than the king's underlying threats.
Discovering another spine in their bodies, all the guards walked up to the group. "You do not deny the king," roared one, bringing his weapon up angrily. The pinkette let her instincts take over and went into kunoichi mode. Putting her back to her blonde's and pulling out two kunai, in a reverse grip, ready to intercept. She caused the tension to increase even further. The reaming royal guards unsheathed their arms, perceiving the group as a threat to their king and queen. Seeing the weapons, Naruto drew his black blade with one hand and waited for the attack. Aiming their weapons at the two, they caused Sasuke to jump back with his choktou drawn, leaving Kakashi in a tiger seal at the ready to defend his family.
Seeing the sudden increasingly prospective violence, and noting the possibility of the guards' chances of survival at definite nil, the queen attempted to calm the situation down. "It seems that we have all had a long day, maybe it'd be best to retire for the evening and discuss this tomorrow," signalling for her guards to stand down, she called, "Naomi-san, please escort our guest to their suites."
A maid hurried in and bowed before saying, "Hai."
"Please escort the shinobi to the guest suites so that they are able to rest for the night," the queen ordered softly.
"Hai, your majesty," replied the servant bowing lowly, she scurried over to the shinobi, who still had their weapons drawn, "Please follow me," she said slightly fearful.
Being the leader of the squad, Kakashi was the first stand down and stand up straight, his team soon followed. "Lead the way," said the silver haired Jonin, still wary of the guards, the team kept a watchful eye as they left the room. Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke and Kakashi, were led along a number of twisting corridors, decorated just as spectacularly as had the main entrance. While walking along the final corridor, with windows on the right looking out over the sea, the pinkette slowed down slightly so that she was walking along side Naruto. Taking a small glance towards Naruto, he listened to Sakura saying, "I am so hot for you right now," a mischievous smirk playing on her lips. Unfortunately, the pinkette, didn't say it quiet enough as the team's pervert had caught wind of it, though he showed no outwards sign of doing so.
Stopping in front of an oak door, the maid turned round and said, "These will be your rooms for the duration of your stay." Bowing swiftly once more and handing each person a key, she scurried off to carry on with her nightly errands.
"Well that's the first part of the mission down, now we only have to wait till after her wedding," Kakashi said.
"I'm just glad that we're half way done, I swear if we had to spend a single night longer with that princess, I would have knocked her back to Konoha," voiced the medic, as she went to unlock the door.
"I'm pretty sure you were going to, at one point," replied Sasuke.
"Alright team, jokes aside, we're up early tomorrow so we can discuss security rotors," ordered Kakashi.
"Hai" replied the team members. Sakura gently took hold of Naruto's hand, leading him into her room.
However, he was stopped when Kakashi placed a hand on his shoulder and dragged him back, "Oh no you don't, I'm in no mood to be woken up by Sakura's screams." The pinkette could only blush furiously at how plainly her sensei told them she was a loud lover; she glanced over to Sasuke, who was giving her a quizzical look.
Sakura's eyes quickly shot to the floor again as her face became even redder, her foot making small circles on the floor. "Oh but Kakashi-sensei, it'll be really late before I get to sleep without Naru-kun," said Sakura using her cuteness to try and tempt her sensei into letting Naruto stay with her.
"And you won't get any sleep if Naruto does stay with you, and neither will any of us," he shot back.
"Fine," Sakura begrudgingly accepted, looking to her mate she said, "Good night kiss?" Smiling and leaning forward, the blond pressed his lips to hers. Opening up her mouth she enticed him more by letting him slide his tongue into her mouth. As his tongue slid over hers, the pinkette had to suppress her moan in front of her team mates. Hooking one arm around his neck, she used the other to reach for the door handle. Pushing it down she heard it click, letting her know it was open. However before she could drag her blue eyed lover into the room, he was rudely pulled away from her by her sensei. She gave a mew to sound her displeasure.
"Come on spit sharers, time for bed," said the silver haired Jonin pulling Naruto into a room before going into his. Disheartened, the team medic went into her own room.
After having the door shut on him, the blond turned around to look at his room. It was decorated immaculately in every way: marble flooring, real fur rugs, stained glass window; he imagined that they didn't spare any expense, however, as he looked over the room, he found that there was one thing which he found to be missing, Sakura. Using his advanced hearing he checked to see if Kakashi and Sasuke where definitely in their rooms, which they were. Quickly flashing through a number of hand seals, he disappeared in a column of black flames.
Meanwhile, Sakura was in her room. She had quickly stripped off her clothes, and dressed in a comfortable pair of panties and white vest. As she snuggled into the blanket, she couldn't help but feel cold due to the lack of warmth that was provided by her sleeping partner. Yet, as the thought left her mind, her prayers were answered when a column of black flames coiled up from the floor. Sitting up in her bed, Naruto emerged from the flames, pulling off his cloak. Opening her mouth to speak, she wasn't able to form any words as Naruto had appeared in front of her and place his index finger upon her lips. "Shush, we've got to be quiet," he whispered. The pinkette couldn't help but smile and bring her lips up to his, once he had removed his finger, and lovingly bring him down towards her on the bed.
The night had been restful for Kakashi. He had awoken and dressed rapidly so that he could awaken their team and have breakfast, before discussing the rota for guarding the princess. He knew that she would not require a full team to guard her within the palace, and no matter how mature his team was, they were still teenagers and he wanted them to experience some small semblance of a normal life in a tourist destination. He had already formulated the plan in his head; he would just be going over the semantics with the rest of them.
As his train of thought had ended, he found himself already in the corridor, a click of the door alerted him to his neighbour exiting his room, the raven haired Uchiha. Nodding to him, the Jonin went to see if the team's resident Jinchuriki had awoken, he judged that Sakura was in the shower if the small sound of running water from her room was any hint. Knocking on his door he called, "Naruto, we've got breakfast with the Royal family before discussing the guard rota." When he didn't hear a reply, he started to grow to wonder, the blond wasn't one for dereliction of dirty, and the idea that he could have been attack and killed in the night was simply absurd. Looking to the other Sharingan user, he noted the smile on his face and then his motion towards Sakura's room. "He wouldn't?" questioned Kakashi.
"He would," affirmed Sasuke. Pulling out two kunais, he maneuvered them into the key hole, sliding one into the catch so the door didn't click when opened; he used the other one to manipulate the latched to open the door. Feeling the loss in resistance in the door, he opened the door to carefully peak inside, Kakashi following.
Peering inside, they spied Naruto, in the bed topless, stretching and letting out a low yawn. A few moments later, the sound of soft passing feet came from bathroom. Emerging from the steam was a damp Sakura, robed in only an orange bath towel. Climbing onto the bed to straddle Naruto, while holding up the knot around her chest, she whispered, "Good morning sleepy head."
"Morning to you too," he replied, leaning up to meet the pinkette in a chaste kiss. Lightly placing his hands on her thighs, he gave her a compassionate smile.
"I borrowed your towel," whispered Sakura again, like if she spoke any louder the words would break the gentle spell of the morning.
"Ummmhmm," hummed Naruto, "I can tell." He placed his head on her neck and took in her strawberry scent; she could feel him smiling on her skin. Shivering as he started to place small kisses along her neck to her jaw line, her eyes opened when she heard heartbeats increasing, not turning around she whispered to the blond, "Sasuke's watching."
"Well then, let's give him a show," chuckled the demon. The medic could tell her mate already knew about their audience. Naruto's hand started to move slowly up Sakura's thigh, pushing the towel so that it was scandalously high, revealing more of her pale creamy skin.
When his calloused hand ran over the mark along her leg, the pinkette bit her lip and let out a muffled moan, arching her back slightly so that she pushed her chest against the streaked blond, Why do I have to be so sensitive to his touch? But Kami it's so good. He could feel her nails grasp at the bare skin of his back, while lightly drawing him in towards her. "Kami, you're so bad," she moaned.
"Umhmm, and you love it," Naruto shot back seductively. Sakura craned her head over and met her mate in a slow passionate kiss, tongues dancing in union.
Sasuke quickly moved away from the door as his brother's hand moved up from his sister's thigh to an area which he didn't really want to think about, however, he couldn't stop the images of himself and Ino in a similar position. Making a quick decision, Sasuke turned and dragged his sensei away from the door to breakfast. "Wait, no! It was just getting good!" cried Kakashi as he was pulled away.
Twenty minutes later, the couple arrived in their usual attire. Naruto left his cloak at the room; not seeing any use for it in the room where they would be having breakfast. It was a grand room: three chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, expensive paintings lining the walls, with a grand table spanning the length of the room, with enough chairs to seat at least a hundred of people. Psychoanalysing the King, he inferred that this room was picked to have breakfast in as a possible show as to what he could gain by marrying his daughter, but the King had forgotten to take one factor into account, Naruto didn't see wealth as an overly attractive attribute. He valued strength and loyalty above all else.
Naruto surveyed the seating arrangement before seating beside Sasuke and Kakashi. He left one seat open between himself and the obnoxious princess. Sakura then took her place between the princess and her mate; it was an instinct of protecting what was hers, which she had gained from the marking. "It is good of you to join us Naruto-san," welcomed the King.
The blond only looked at him, before paying him no heed. A butler came and placed what Naruto deemed as an overly flamboyant breakfast in front of him, consisting of things like rare seafood, sushi and multitude of different rice's. "Yeah, looks like you finally left the sex cave," added in Kakashi, loud enough so that only his team was able to hear it. Naruto calmly glanced at his sensei, while gently raising an eyebrow. Meanwhile, Sakura looked down at her meal a soft blush adorning her cheeks, something that the princess didn't fail to notice, causing jealousy to flare up within her.
"So Naruto-san, have you given any thought to my offer yesterday, now that you have had a night to think about it?"
Deciding to keep things a little calmer than yesterday, the streaked blond decided to try being a little diplomatic. "As I informed you, yesterday, I am a shinobi of Konoha first. Marrying your daughter would prevent me from fulfilling this and the duty to which I am bound. Secondly, I am already betrothed to another," at this point Naruto had taken Sakura's hand beneath the table, "And it would be a disgrace against both our families' honours if I were to leave her for another woman." It was at this point Naruto was starting to lie through his teeth, which is what shinobi was good at. At this point, people in the room that knew Naruto knew he was lying. For one, he wasn't a shinobi of Konoha. He was a shinobi of his kaa-san. Secondly, Sakura's parents knew nothing of her relationship with Naruto, so it couldn't really be an affront to their honour and Naruto's family was pretty self-explanatory.
"Your majesty, I was also under the assumption that Yuki-sama was to be escorted here to her wedding. I fail to see how this could occur if she is trying to marry another man," questioned Sakura, putting the king on the spot.
"Ah yes. Well, you see my daughter has been arranged to be married for some time now. However, she constantly persisted in the fact that she didn't wish to marry the person whom I had chosen. Thus, to help our family relationship, I gave her six months to go out and find a man that she 'loved' and I deemed worthy. Clearly my daughter has chosen well," explained the King.
"And as I stated, I must reject your proposal," added the blond.
"Indeed," stated the King.
"Now I think it is time to discuss the security detail of the princess until her wedding is over," started Kakashi, deciding to change the subject.
"Actually Kakashi-san, Yuki-Chan's fiancé will be overseeing security on the day of the wedding, thus you will only be required to provide her a bodyguard detail until then."
"Understood. Now, as I was saying, I believe it would be best for two shinobi to accompany Yuki-sama at all times, while the remaining two shall scout out the perimeter and surrounding town. Meanwhile, at certain times, we shall have two man shifts rotating half way through the night to ensure both security and rest for our shinobi for the next few day's events."
"Hmm, well this does sound like a well thought out plan. Would it not be best to have all your forces guarding my daughter," questioned the King.
"Well, that may have been, had your daughter not already been in a heavily fortified environment. Having more than two shinobi would merely be overkill, and in any case, even one of my subordinates would be able to handle any threat. With the other two scouting the town, it could provide us with valuable information. In our line of work, information is a very powerful tool. It could allow us to end a plot, before it even began to take root," thoroughly detailed Kakashi, leaving no room for doubt.
Sensei's just covering for us so that we can get a vacation out of this, simultaneously thought the members of team 7.
"Well now that we have finished that discussion, I believe we shall finish our breakfast," voiced the queen is a quiet, yet commanding tone.
Once breakfast had been finished, the team excused themselves from the table. Kakashi had decided that he and Sasuke would guard the princess for the first day, allowing Naruto and Sakura to enjoy the day. He knew that they had only recently gotten together and, due to their shinobi duties, hadn't had enough time to spend together. So, being the considerate man he was, he decided to give them the time they obviously needed. He had also decided that they wouldn't guard the princess together, as they would either end up killing her or not guarding her at all, as they would find something else to pre-occupy themselves with. "So considering that Kakashi-sensei has given us the day off, what do you think we should do?" questioned Sakura, sitting on the edge of the bed, swinging her feet idly.
"I don't know really, I've never been on a holiday before so I don't really know what we are expected to do," answered Naruto nonchalantly, lying down on the same bed, eyes shut. The pinkette couldn't help but give a sad smile, remembering that Naruto hadn't had the same up brining she did. He didn't get to have the luxury of having holidays. Strengthening her resolve, she decided to give Naruto the best first holiday she could give. Lying down on the blonde's chest, looking at him she said, "Well, considering we're in the Land of Beaches, why don't we go to the beach?"
"Sounds like a plan," he responded positively.
"Well then, we better get changed," said the demoness, jumping off the bed to go get her stuff.
Sakura grabbed a few items of clothing before disappearing into the bathroom. When she came out, she revealed herself in a black two piece bikini with small red ribbons on the bottom part, accompanied by a thin black piece of cloth which she wrapped around her waist and tied with a knot on the right hand side, leaving that side exposed. "So what do you think?" she questioned, when Naruto had left to do his errand for Tsunade and she was training, the pinkkette had created a clone to go out and buy a new one before throwing her other one away. Naruto was giving his mate a slow once over, moving from her creamy legs and up her perfect figure. As she turned around slightly for him, he found the way in which the mark wound up her bikini clad form incredibly sexy, leaving him to give out a cool smile, "Judging by the look on your face I assume you approve?" questioned the medic.
"I'd be insane not to. So, you ready to go?"
"I may be, but you're not."
"What do you mean," asked Naruto, confused.
"As good as you look in your shinobi gear; we are going to the beach. We don't need to be armed as if were about to storm a village," answered Sakura.
"I'm not that armed," defended Naruto, his mate slowly walked up to him.
Using her toes, she gripped the kunai attached to his shinobi sandals and pulled it out of its sheath, "Cause this isn't a kunai?" retorted the pinkette, dropping the weapon, "or this," reaching under the demons tank top, pulling out two more black blades from the hidden sheathes. Reaching round him sensually, her cool fingers drifting over his skin, when they finished their arc around his back, one of her slender digits hooked into the hole of the final kunai blade. Slowly pulling it out, "Oh I didn't know you had this," Sakura mocked, spinning it around she gripped it before lightly biting on the tip of the blade.
For the second time in less than five minutes, Naruto couldn't help but stare at how dangerous and sexy his mate looked. Not being one to be left speechless, the blond retorted, "You right. That is dangerous. You could hurt yourself by doing that."
"Oh I have a habit of being near dangerous things," whispered Sakura seductively. She moved closer to Naruto, before letting out a smile and pushing away from him, "and as much as I enjoy flirting with you, I really do want to go to the beach."
Naruto smiled to himself. Sakura was toying with him, she was learning very quickly. "You don't need your top. It's hot outside and not many people bother," said the pinkette, pulling the offending piece of clothing off her mate, before going to pack things for the beach.
"I'm starting to think that this is just an excuse for you to see me half naked," fired the Chuunin.
"Maybe," replied the green eyed teen, adding in a sly wink, "Do you have any pair of three-quarters?"
"No, but I could make some," replied the blond. Sakura stopped what she was doing, and looked at her mate, the image of Naruto rapidly sewing was not an image that came to her mind easily. She realized what he meant when he grabbed one of the kunais laying of the floor and cut off the material on his pants just below the knee. Sakura could help but sake her head at her mate's antics. Zipping up the bag she walked over to her blond and hugged him, "Come on. Let's go. We'll buy you a pair of flip flops at the market."
"I assume you don't want to walk out of the castle," joked the blond.
"I'd rather not run into Hime-sama, on the way out," sneered the pinkette. Laughing a bit, Naruto lightly kissed the top of her head before engulfing the two in a swirl of black flames, making them disappear from the room.
Naruto and Sakura appeared in a small alley of the main road so that they didn't cause any much ruckus. Anonymously walking out, the couple melded into the crowd, and walked towards the market, the crowds were either dressed in attire similar to Naruto and Sakura or in something that would allow their skin to breathe and keep them cool due to the hot weather. Entering the market place the hustle of stall owners calling to potential customers mixed with the vibrant buzz of the crowd. Knowing what she was looking for Sakura strolled over to one of the stall and asked the owner, "How much for these sandals?"
"265 Yen," was his reply.
Handing over the money, the pinkette took the pair of black flip flops and handed them to her streaked blond. "You didn't have to buy me a pair you know," he said.
"It doesn't matter," she replied nonchalantly. "Now put them on so we can go to the beach!" Smiling, the Jinchuriki pulled off his shinobi sandals and replaced them with the flip flops. Taking the bag from Sakura, he placed his other pair of sandals inside before throwing one of the straps on the back pack over his shoulders. He looked at his mate for approval. "Now you look just like a tourist," exclaimed Sakura with a smile.
"Save for the multitude of scars that scream my chosen profession," replied Naruto with a grin, she had noticed that he had received a few glances at this chest while they had been walking to the market.
"Well, our scars define us," she replied, running a finger over one sleek scar that ran across part of his abs. Leaving his abs, her hand went to grasp Naruto's before leading him off in the direction of the beach.
It had only taken a few minutes for the couple to reach the beach. Once they arrived, they found fresh blue waters gently lapping against golden sands with a midday sun hanging in the back drop. The beach wasn't completely full, but there were still quite a lot of people bathing in the sun and children playing in the sea and the sand. Sending some chakra to his eyes to enhance his vision further, the Chuunin surveyed the area to find a good spot to set up their things. Spying one about twenty metres from a drinks stand, he pulled his mate along to it, assuming it was what Sakura was looking for. Pulling her along to the destination, once he reached there he questioned, "Is this alright?
"Perfect," she replied smiling back. Once Naruto put the bag down, the pinkette starting to go through it, taking out the things that they would need. Placing two towels down onto the beach, both teens sat down on them and kicked off their sandals. A pair of children running after one another fell into a pile in front of their position. Looking at the couple, then to each other, they started to laugh together before getting up and running off once more. Sakura caught the happy smile that reminded her of how he would smile when they were younger; he carried on smiling as he watched them run off. Turning to the pink haired teen, Naruto's smile transformed into the sexy smile which was reserved only for her. Returning his smile she placed a light kiss on his cheek. Naruto turned back to the sea and closed his eyes, enjoying its calming presence. So this is what a holiday is like, peaceful. He opened his eyes once more when he heard the sound of something squirting. Looking to left, he found Sakura squeezing some of the contents out of the bottle onto her hand before rubbing them together. "What's that," asked Naruto.
"Lotion, to make sure you don't get sunburnt," responded Sakura.
"I don't get sunburnt. Kyuubi regulates the melanin in my skin to make sure I don't get harmed," said the blond logically.
"Hmm maybe," started Sakura, moving behind Naruto on her knees. "But is gives me an excuse to rub something over you," she finished jokingly. Her hands massaged the lotion into his back and shoulders before moving to his front. She could feel the muscles bunched up and bundled beneath his skin. "Your muscles are all knotted. It seems like you haven't had a massage in years," said the medic a small frown on her face, "When was the last time you had one to relax your body?"
"I don't ever remember getting one," her mate replied honestly.
"Really? It's standard for a medic to give one to a shinobi in the hospital, and you've probably been in the hospital more than most," explained the pinkette.
"Need I remind you how I was treated when I was younger? They only cared about getting me off their hands as soon as possible when I was in the hospital," finished the blond in monotone as he cast his mind's eye back to the past. The simple statement only caused Sakura's anger with the villagers to steadily grow. Not relaxing a shinobi's muscles could have been detrimental to him in the field and further in his career. The chances of cramps and muscle tears significantly increase. He had given both her sensei and team mate massages as her duty as the teams medic entail, it was protocol. "Well when we get to our room, I'll give you the best massage you've ever had okay? I'll get these years of knots out of you," she exclaimed smiling, before kissing her mate on his nose.
Adding more lotion, she started to massage his chest and abdomen, working the sunscreen into his skin; she moved her hand over his body slowly, teasing him. "I know what you're doing Sakura-Chan," he said, looking at her.
"I don't know what you're talking about Naruto-kun," answered Sakura, not looking into the blonde's eyes, concentration on working the remnants of the cream onto his body, yet she shouldn't held but let a small smile betray her.
Putting a finger below her chin and lifting it up so that she was looking him in the eye, by know her hands hand worked their way around his shoulders, resting lazily upon them. The pinkette looked at her other half and bit her lip like a small child caught doing something they shouldn't. "I know what you're doing, and so do you," repeated the blond and knowing smirk on his face. Placing his hands on her hips, he pulled her closer, so that she was kneeling between her legs. Deciding not to say anything, she looked away from his ensnaring gaze. "Your silence speaks louder than your words," the blond moved his head to her neck and nuzzled it slightly. Knowing she had lost the little game they were playing, she moved back before placing her lips onto his, he responded in tow. As the blonde's hand started to wrap around her waist and run lines down her spine, she pulled away and grabbed his hand.
Smiling she said, "I'm not that easy Naruto-kun, and I'm not letting you want in front of all these people." She knew that the moment he started to touch her mark she would slowly lose control to him and she knew as much as she would enjoy it, she would rather save herself from the embarrassment.
Moving away from him, she decided to apply some sunscreen to herself so that she didn't burn. Looking out to the sea Naruto decided to just close his eyes and relax for a bit. After a few minutes he heard the pinkette next to him shift and lay down on her front. "What are you doing?" he asked.
"Working on my tan," she said, jokingly.
However, Naruto didn't pick up on her undertone. Rolling over and placing his body lightly over hers, he whispered seductively into her ear, "But I like you just the way you are now, my pale demoness," adding a kiss onto her neck for emphasis. Sakura couldn't help but shiver at his breath on her ear.
Smiling she rolled over and replied, "Well then," grabbing the bottle of sunscreen, "You're going to need to put more of this on me. I didn't manage to do my back. Do you mind?"
"Of course not, my demoness," he grabbed the bottle and lightly kissing her again.
Sakura knew she was playing a dangerous game now, she knew what the mark could do, and she had just stopped Naruto from touching it previously. However, she wanted to use this as a test of her will power, to see if she could overcome the power of the mark. Rolling back over, she allowed the blond to start his work. The pinkette could feel his oil covered callous hands moving over her body, down from her shoulders to her back. She could feel her body start to tingle as his hands started to pass over the fox on her back. She held in a soft moan as he started to apply slightly more pressure. Now using his knuckle to run the length of her spine, the green eyed teen couldn't help but her pleasure be known to her mate, "Mmmmm, that feels so good Naruto-kun." As he continued his work, Sakura could feel control slipping from her grasp, as she guessed would. Her words signified it, "Mmm lower." His hands started to move to the base of her spine, but it wasn't where she wanted it, "Lower," she moaned out, knowing what little semblance of control she had left had left her.
Naruto leaned down and placed his mouth next to her ear and whispered, "As much as I would love to indulge in your little fantasy Sakura-Chan, I don't think it's appropriate, considering that there are children around." Moving away from his mate, he awaited for her to respond. When Sakura rolled over she thought to herself, note to self: conscious thought never beats instinct. Noticing the lack of response, the blue eyed teen asked rhetorically, "Enjoy it?" The pinkette only blushed in response.
Noticing the café they were near, Sakura tried to steer the conversation away from the embarrassing situation that she had put herself in. "Oh look Naruto-kun, a café, let's see what they have," knowing what his mate was doing he decided to let it slide.
"Hai, hai, I'm coming," standing up, he followed the bikini clad medic-nin to the café.
The café was a medium sized wooden hut with fans spinning on the inside to keep it cool. The pair walked into the hut and quickly looked around; there were a number of people sitting on tables, ranging from lone people enjoying a drink, to whole families. Naruto felt himself being dragged by the hand to the ice cream counter. Sakura put her hands on the glass and stared at the number of different flavors. "I'll have a chocolate ice cream please," ordered the pinkette. She turned to the man beside her, "what would you like Naruto-kun?"
Smiling lightly, he replied, "Strawberry."
"And one strawberry please," she mimicked.
The woman behind the counter scooped two large balls of ice-cream into the cones and handed them to the pinkette. "There you go," she said handing over the ice cream, "and that'll be 50 yen." Passing one of the cones to her mate she looked for her purse and realized that she had left it. Naruto came in, and pulled out the necessary amount of money. The cashier thanked him and waved him goodbye as the couple left the shop. "You didn't have to pay, you know," said Sakura, hoping to treat Naruto.
"Don't worry, love. Money is of little consequence to me," replied the streaked blond. Giving a small pout, Sakura took a bite of her ice cream. "What does it taste like?"
"Chocolate," she said a hint of sarcasm entering her voice, "how about yours?" Licking his own ice cream, he responded, "Like you." The pinkette couldn't help but blush at the statement, then lightning fast took a large bit of her blonde's ice cream. "Mmmmh, no wonder you like me so much. I taste good," teased Sakura, letting out a laugh when he gave her a knowing look.
The couple strolled along the golden sands of the beach hand in hand, gazing out at the sea passing the time in each other's company. Sakura soon stopped when she noticed a number of what seemed like volley ball courts set out along the beach. As she gazed around to see what was going to happen, a beach ball landed in front of Naruto. Looking to it before lifting his head to see where it came from, he found a girl and boy, roughly the same age as them. "Hey," the boy called out waving to them, "mind passing the ball over here." Lazily kicking the ball, it floated through the air and landed perfectly in the boy's hand. Even though he had caught the ball, they carried on moving towards them till they were right in front of them. The boy was a head shorter than Naruto, his skin slightly tanned, probably from the sun; he was wearing a pair of navy shorts. The girls who stood beside him, clutching his hand was just under Sakura's height, wearing a white two piece bikini. "Thanks," he stopped for a moment and starred at the scars on the blonde's body, "…are you two here for the beach ball tournament?" he politely questioned.
"Excuse me?" replied Sakura,
"Oh you mustn't have been here for long. Well, there's a beach ball tournament, and it's free to enter."
"I don't think we were really planning on entering," said Naruto.
"Well if you change your mind, the registration office is over there." Pointing to a small wooden hut near the courts, the man turned to them sheepishly. "Maybe we'll see you there," he finished smiling before running off.
Looking down to his mate, he knew what she wanted, "You want to enter, don't you?"
"You know me so well," she said smiling.
"You do realize how pathetically easy it's going to be don't you," he replied, "It'll be like…..
"A shinobi killing bandits?" finished Sakura, looking at the blond through the corner of her eye.
"Not the analogy I was going to use, but yes."
"I'm pretty sure you enjoy that," countered Sakura.
"I don't think I'm the only one who enjoys it," the blond retaliated.
"True, so are we signing up or what," asked the pinkette.
"Come on," he finished shaking his head and pulled her towards the booth.
Walking over to a small wooden hut with a poster advertising for the competition they were about to sign up for, the teens were greeted by a smiling young woman wearing a turquoise blue polo top tucked into beige pants, "I guess you're here for the beach ball tournament?"
"Yep," replied Sakura.
"Well, I just need your names," asked the stall attendant, pulling out a pad and paper.
"Namikaze Naruto and Haruno Sakura," replied the rosette.
"Alright then, it starts in ten minutes by the courts. You're team thirteen. Hope it isn't unlucky, enjoy," said the woman handing them the arm bands.
Naruto laughed at their team number as he finished his ice cream, "Come on. We might as well head their now, they've probably already started."
A short five minute walk and the two teens arrived at the back of a roaring crowd. Over the top of the crowd they could hear the shouts of a man, wearing baggy clothes, over a microphone. "Beach goers, are you ready for the 50th annual beach ball tournament!?" His response has another deafening roar of approval, "Well then let's get started the first team is…" thrusting his hand into a bag he pulled out a piece of paper, "Teammmmmmm four!" repeating the action he pulled out another piece of paper, "VS Teammmmmm thirteen! Those teams better get to the courts. The rest of you get your asses over there and find a seat cause we're gonna get started!" finishing his speech the baggy clothed man dropped the mike and jumped of the stage as the crowd started to dissipate.
As the two shinobis pulled on their bands, Naruto grabbed the pinkette's shoulder, "Sakura-Chan, how do you play beach ball?"
"Really? You've never played it," questioned the green eyed teen. The look on his face answered the question. "Well, all you have to do is hit the ball with your hand over the net into the over court to score the point. You serve from the back of the court and it's usually up to twenty-one points."
"Sounds simple enough," replied the Jinchuriki.
The pair walked towards the courts, crowds of people had already taken seats on the sand around the court. The opponent team, a boy and girl who looked to be siblings, was already practicing passes on the side closest to the sea. Naruto and Sakura took their positions on the other end of the court; they layered chakra on their feet so that they didn't sink into the sand, already giving them an advantage over their opponents. "Hey look at the pink haired one, how fit is she!" Naruto heard for a voice behind him.
"Yeah, but she's with that dude there."
"Bro, trust me. I'm going to get me some of that," Naruto's head turned around to face the people who had been talking about Sakura, seeing two teenage boys, probably a year younger than themselves, he let out a feral growl. Recoiling in fear, the boy said, "Maybe I'll let this one slide."
The referee threw a volley ball to Naruto and shouted, "You're serving." Catching the ball one-handed, the blond passed Sakura and quietly said, "Aim for the girls right leg, she has a two second delay on it, I'm guessing a childhood injury." The pinkette just nodded her head and laughed at her mate analyzing everything like it was a battle scenario. Taking his place at the back of the court, Naruto lazily slapped the ball into the air once the whistle had been blown. As it soared over the net, the opposition didn't even bother reaching for the ball as they thought it was going out, however to everyone's surprise it landed just inside the line, a perfect serve. The crowded roared at the score, while the opposite team was still shocked. Shaking themselves out of their stupor, the boy on the opponent team went to pick up the ball for their serve. As the whistle bellowed he threw the ball in the air and smacked it over the net. Naruto quickly moved forward and hit the ball upwards into the air, which Sakura capitalized upon by jumping up and hammering the ball down towards the girls' weaker leg. The ball plummeted into the ground before she could even react. The game carried on much this way; Naruto and Sakura dominating the match with the opposition not even being able to score a point against the superior team. The demon couple's last point was scored by Sakura jumping off Naruto's back to deliver a bone crushing strike to the ball that zoomed past the boys' ear into the sand. The referee called the victors of the match, before announcing the next match. Naruto and Sakura sat down on the warm sands as the next few matches progressed. They simply enjoyed each other's company while they waited for their next match before they would go up and dominate once more.
The sun moved across the sky, as the games progressed, torches were lit on the beach so that the tournament could progress, out of the hundreds of teams that had entered only two teams remained, team 13 and team 86, Naruto and Sakura VS two women round twenty two-ish. Naruto started off with his usual perfect serves, however to team 86's credit, they had started to adapt to it fairly well, yet against train shinobi reflexes they had no real chance. Naruto and Sakura just toyed with them, and they even let through a few points to make it more interesting. Every time the opposite team struck the ball towards the ground, Naruto or Sakura would be there to effortlessly serve the ball back into the other teams' court. However, soon Naruto grew tired of the game and started to press his attack more aggressively. The attacks becoming more and more savage as they slammed into the ground, not even giving the opponents a chance to react. Soon the game was over, with the score being 21-5. The crowd once again roared in approval of the win, and the victors of the games were directed to a temporary stand with the same guy wearing baggy clothes.
Getting pushed onto the stage, the announcer grabbed both of the couples hands and raised them into the air as a sign of their conquest. "After a long day of intense games filled with heavy competition only one team can claim to be the winners and I give them to you now! Team 13!" roared the announcer, placing a gold medal over Naruto's and Sakura's neck. "Now let the party begin," as he finished, music started to blast out of large speakers behind him, while the crowd started to jump and sway to the music, while others started to get up on stage to begin their night of partying. The pinkette grabbed her mate's hand and pulled him away. They both knew that the other didn't want to be there; however, as Sakura tried to pull Naruto away, she was yanked back into his embrace. Placing a hand on his chest she looked up to see his hair cast over his eyes and a cocky smirk on his face. Without giving any indication, he teleported out of the throng on people, who didn't even notice as they were too absorbed in their own party world.
Reappearing where their bags were, Naruto pulled off his medal and said, "Well that was a fun day," scratching the medal a bit of gold paint came off, "This isn't even real gold, you know?"
"Yeah it was, and of course it isn't. Did you really expect a solid gold medal," replied the medic.
"Guess not," answered the Jinchuriki, throwing the metal circle into their bag haphazardly. Sakura did the same before running towards the ocean, "Come on I know what'll cheer you up."
"What?" asked Naruto curiously.
"A swim in the ocean with me," she called, beckoning him seductively with her finger before laughing and running at the large blue body of water that the sun was descending on. Smiling himself, Naruto started to run after his mate. By the time he reached the water, Sakura was already swimming out into the ocean laughing away.
Diving forward, the blond powered towards the green-eyed medic and soon caught up with her. Once he was close enough he wrapped his arms around her waist beneath the water and whispered, "Got you," leaning in to kiss her.
"Not so easily," she whispered back. Pushing off his chest, she glided away from him, while the blond was forced back. You're not getting away from me that easily, the demon container thought before renewing the chase. Kicking hard, he swam after Sakura. Seeing this, the pink haired teen glided through the water, away from him. Not going to give up easily, Naruto dived beneath the water and quickly teleported beneath the waves. Turning around while swimming backwards, Sakura tried to spot Naruto beneath the waves when she felt her back crash against what she though was a brick wall. Turning around she saw it was in fact her tanned blond, who had wrapped his arms around her waist.
"Got you now," he said smugly.
"No fair, you cheated," Sakura replied in a childish manner.
"I didn't hear you make any rules Sakura-Chan," the blue eyed teen shot back, her response was to simply bury her head in the crook of his neck.
Paddling back slowly till his feet could touch sand, Naruto watched as the dying sun reflect of the rosette's pale skin, causing it to glow. Sakura pulled her head back from the crook of his neck and stared into Naruto's eyes. Once more enraptured by them, she wrapped her legs round his waist beneath the waves and moved closer to him. Naruto's own hands moved down to the small of her back and pressed his lips to Sakura's in a slow and loving kiss beneath the orange skies of a setting sun. Tenderly pulling back, the pinkette smiled as she opened her eyes and said, "We should be getting back. We don't want to keep Kakashi-sensei and Sasuke waiting." The streaked blond hummed in response. Moving back onto the dry sand, the couple walked to their bags hand in hand. Most of the beach was empty other than a handful of people. Everyone was either at the beach party or had gone home. Drying themselves off and throwing what little they had taken out, back into the bag, Naruto threw the bag over his shoulder, while Sakura wrapped the piece of material around her waist once more before holding onto the Jinchuriki. "Let's take a short cut," asked the medic. Knowing her meaning the blond summoned his chakra and engulfed the two in a column of black flames.
- Land of Beaches Royal Palace
Swirling up from the deep rich red carpet, the black flames revealed both Naruto and Sakura. The pair turned around to see both Kakashi and Sasuke escorting a man wearing a regal blue military uniform. "Ah, Naruto, Sakura back from scouting, are we? Anything to report?" questioned Kakashi. The couple quickly separated at the sight of the fifth member of the group.
"The perimeter is all secure, sensei, and no known plots on the princess' life have been discovered," replied Naruto, crisp and sharp, while eying up the unknown member of the group. He was about an inch under Kakashi's height, with dark brown eyes, a sharp chin and black hair a shade lighter than Sasuke's swept back in a comb over, for a non-shinobi he had a pretty decent build from what could be deciphered from his clothing. "And you are?" questioned the blond.
"Ah how rude of me to not introduce myself," replied the man, giving a small bow. "My name is Hitomashi Daichi, Prince of the Land of Birds and I presume you are Naruto-san. I must thank you for protecting my beloved," finished the prince. However Naruto didn't like the look or tone he used when talking about Yuki, he seemed to view her as more of a piece of property rather than a person, and regardless of how annoying he found the girl, Naruto hated it when others view people as possessions. Daichi wondered over to the female of the group and hungry spark in his eyes as they wondered over her bikini clad formed. No doubt this was a man of many 'conquests'.
Moving past Naruto with regal grace he stood before the pinkette and lightly grabbed her hand, before bending down and kissing it, "And you must be Sakura-Chan, I must say I never expected such a beauty to be a part of the Shinobi corps. I hope we will have the pleasure of spending some more time together." The demon container let out a deep growl at the prince's advances upon his mate; he did not take lightly his encroachments upon her personal space or addressing her in such a close manner.
Even Sakura had to admit, she cringed a bit inside when the prince addressed her with the honorific at the end of her name, it just seemed wrong coming from a male who wasn't related to her other than Naruto. Looking at Naruto and noticing his tensed body as well as his narrowed eyes the medic decided to attempt to diffuse the situation, for as much for her own comfort as well as her mates. Slipping her hand from his grasp she moved next to the blue eyed teen and gently grasped his hand. "I assure you Daichi-sama, I am a fully capable member of this team and a Konoha Shinobi and I don't believe it would be possible to as I would be too busy using my time protecting your fiancée," replied the rosette emphasizing the fiancée part.
"Oh, I meant no offence, I was simply surprised," apologized the prince, a charming tone in his voice.
"No offence was taken. However, you must excuse me and Naruto-kun, I have to attend to him," said Sakura before turning him to the blond, "Come on Naruto-kun, let's take care of those knots."
"Actually Kakashi-san, Sasuke-san and I came in search of you to inform you of dinner. You are both expected in the family dining room," added Daichi, smiling "And please just call me Dai." Sakura looked at Naruto and conveyed all she wanted to through her eyes. Calm down, it's ok. I promise.
Daichi then gave Naruto a good look to size him up as a potential opponent. He looked at Naruto who had his toned arms crossed over his massive, scared chest and powerful body. Looking up into his eyes, the prince saw the look of a killer in his eyes. Naruto smirked as he saw a spark of fear within the man's eyes, his own smirk only intensifying the prince's fears, though the blond had to admit he was impressed as to how well he hid his fear. "Well, you two better get dressed in something more appropriate for dinner. We'll meet you in the dining room," said the silver-haired Jonin.
"Yes, I must say, you do dress quite oddly for shinobi; I expect something… well something more. Not that I'm complaining, in all cases," said Daichi mockingly, once more eying Naruto's mate.
"Blending in to your surroundings is part of being a shinobi, a change of clothes is often required," retorted the streaked blond.
The prince took a pose of apology, but Naruto caught a subtle hint of mocking within the stance. "I bow to your superior knowledge, Naruto-san," finished the prince before leaving.
Quickly entering their room, Naruto heard, "What an ass," he could only laugh in response. "Though it was kind of funny when you almost made him shit himself," exclaimed Sakura while getting dressed in something more suitable.
"I don't know how you put up with him when he was talking to you, I would have just punched him in the face."
"I've had a lot of practice with foreign delegates when Tsunade-sama had meetings with them. Ready?"
"Lucky you and yeah," finished the blond as he pulled on his black tank top. They both exited the room and went in search of where the rest of their team was.
Using their enhanced senses, the pair followed the scent of extremely expensive perfume and came upon the family dining room. It was smaller than the grand ballroom table they had eaten at for breakfast, though no less decorated. The table was a rich mahogany, with matching plush chairs. The small candles around the room cast a friendlier glow upon the room as little light came from the night sky outside, even if the moon was out. They quietly sit down next to one another and across from the princess, who was concentric to her fiancé and Kakashi, who had Sasuke on his right, with the King at the head of the table with his wife sitting next to Sakura. "Ah! You're finally here, we can now start dinner," clapping his hands, the king summoned the waiters to bring the food. While the food was not as lavish as the morning, it was still pretty upper class.
A few minutes into eating, Kakashi decided to start a conversation, "Daichi-sama, I was hoping that we could discuss the security plans for your fiancée. I know that you will officially be taking charge of Yuki-sama's safety on the day of your wedding, however I was wondering if you would like for my team and I to provide additional security?" Everyone looked to the Jonin, and was surprised to see he had finished his food already. Many quiet sighs echoed around the room at once again missing the face behind the mask.
Composing himself quickly, the prince replied, "Ah, there will be no need for that Kakashi-san, you will be free to leave once it comes to the day of the wedding. However, I do wish that you would stay and enjoy the festivities."
"I believe that we'll stay for your wedding. The princess is our charge, and we shall fulfill our roles for the designated amount of time. I will personally protect her until the moment you place the ring onto her finger. We may not be next to her, but we shall be watching from the shadows," said Naruto, a serious look in his eyes. His Kaa-san had given him his orders and he would complete them to the best of his abilities. Yuki looked up from picking at her food, a look of surprise and genuine appreciation on her face.
And that was how the majority of the conversations progressed for the remainder of the evening. It was mainly Kakashi and the prince discussing event within the kingdom and security matters, while the King adding in additional bits of information. The blond demon of the team made a sly comment on the poor defensive build of the capital city, which the King let slide only to make a comment which was another subtle play of giving his daughter's hand in marriage. The prince would also make the occasional offhand comment about the team's pinkette, knowingly aggravating Naruto. However, beneath the table Sakura grasped the azure eyed teen's hand, giving it a small squeeze whenever a comment was made. A silent message to Naruto to ignore whatever was being said. Kakashi was glad for Sakura's intervention; he'd rather not have an international event on his hand because Naruto ended up killing the prince. However, throughout the evening Sakura had to admit to herself that she was feeling sorry for the princess. In the presence of her parents she was a completely different person, she was quiet and subdued, rather than the rash out spoken persona that they had been accustomed to. But not just that, she looked…broken, the fact that the prince and her father were talking about her like she wasn't even the room lent to that fact. It was then Sakura realized maybe she had been too harsh on the girl, she was probably going to be married off in a political move to form alliances, she was going to become a trophy wife and later on a factory to produce a suitable heir. And she had no choice in the mater. It was an outdated, but still used technique. Sakura was thankful for the way her own life had panned out.
Standing up, the princess announced, with a solemn face, "Father I'm going to retire for the evening, the day's events have tried me and I wish to rest." Giving her a nod, she started to leave the table.
Taking this as their own cue Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura started to leave the table. "I'm going to stay and discuss further plans with Daichi-sama, I'll leave guarding the prince to you," said the closest pervert.
"Hai," was their simultaneous response. Following the princess the out of the room and through the maze of corridors that made up the palace, they soon arrived at the room. Through the short journey, the team only observed the princesses desolate mood.
"I bid you all a good night," was the princess's farewell to the shinobi, not even bothering to attempt anything on Naruto, regardless of Sakura being there.
No one missed the gloomy expression on her face as she walked into her room and shut the door behind herself. "I pity the girl," the blond said quietly, Sasuke subtly looked at his brother waiting for an expansion. "She is to be married to someone I imagine she barely knows, such a cruel destiny."
"Agreed," said the medic, her own voice depressed by the revelation.
"However, our mission is to guard her till her wedding, not to deliver her to her prince charming. This is just one more immoral act in the world, and not every injustice can be punished," explained the streaked blond. Forming three clones of himself, Naruto left them as guards. Two moved to either side of the door and stood vigil like stone guardians. The other disappeared in a column of black flames and reappeared outside the princess's window, sticking to the vertical wall with his chakra. That clone was overkill but it was better to be safe than end up with a dead client. Soon afterwards, the team returned to their respective rooms, knowing that Naruto's clones, would be able to handle any threat and if not, they'd be alerted.
The following day had Naruto and Sasuke guarding the princess while she followed the Prince and her father round, as they discussed plans for the wedding, the preparations for which were now in full motion. The streets outside were being lined with paper lanterns and lights, while the palace started to have wedding banners being draped from the ceilings and stairs. Maids and servants hurried around on the last two days of preparations for the festival. The pair guarding the princess also noted that she had carried on with her depressed demeanor, not that her fiancé ever took notice of it.
Meanwhile, Sakura and Kakashi had decided that the best way to spend their day off was to train. The pinkette wanted to further train her proficiency in the use of demon chakra and Kakashi wouldn't pass up an opportunity to spend time with one of his students. Teacher and student walked to the training area that they had passed when they had first entered the palace. Walking onto the dusty training area Kakashi stated, "No advance ninjutsu or anything that's going to end up destroying the landscape."
"Hai," replied the team medic. This meant that she was still allowed to use her chakra enhanced strength, but she would have to rein it in a bit.
Standing at opposite ends of the pitch, Kakashi shouted, "Hajime!" Surprising Kakashi, Sakura took the initiative and attacked first.
Running at him, she slid into a kick, hoping to catch Kakashi off guard; it wasn't a move that was used in her Mountain Crusher style. Jumping over and performing a half pike to avoid the attack, the Jonin hadn't expected Sakura to react so quickly to his dodge. Moving up for her slid, she deliver a depowered back hand to him in mid-air. Forming a cross with his arms, he took the blow that propelled him to the other end of the field. What was that? She can't normally move that fast? Kakashi questioned himself. Not going to let him be put on the back foot, the silver haired man ran forward and attacked throwing a one-two punch combination followed up with a round house kick, only to have Sakura block both of his punches before pirouetting around his kick. Using acrobatics to get away, the pinkette performed three backwards handstands; moving into a triple backflip twist, throwing shurikens as she performed the maneuverers to disrupt her sensei. Meanwhile, Kakashi had thrown some kunais once his student had dodged his kick. Sakura's acrobatics had meant that he'd missed his mark. Rolling out of the way of the projectiles that were coming towards him, the Jonin found the green eyed woman already upon him inflight, fist cocked back, ready to deliver a blow to him. Bending backwards he missed the fist but Sakura's foot caught his leg in the follow up, knocking him onto his back. Rolling out of the way of a foot that was about to crush his skull, he neck sprung before cartwheeling away. Reaching for his head band and pulled up revealing his gift from Obito.
Kakashi was worried that his skill may have been dulling as he had been forced to use the sharingan so early against his student. Running forward to meet Sakura in a clash, time slowed in his vision so that he was easily able to intercept or dodge most of the medics' incoming strikes. It was also the time when he noticed the subtle differences in Sakura's fighting style. Her strikes were more focused, yet at the same time wild, she seemed slightly more inclined to use her flexibility. However, her training in her Tsunade's Mountain Crushers had stopped her from fully utilizing it. "Use your natural flexibility as a Kunoichi against an opponent," advised elder ninja as he displaced an elbow. Pushing down on the attack had meant that Kakashi came face to face with Sakura for a moment, giving him enough time to look at the rosette in the eyes, her green slit eyes and sharpening canines. Throwing a knee up into her side, Sakura winced at the blow she received more out of actual habit than pain. The Jonin then grabbed Sakura's gloved hand and threw her away. She then performed a move he hadn't expected. Copying Naruto, she formed two shadow clones in mid-air. Grabbing one, the pinkette launched it at her sensei before bouncing off the other one. The clone came in with a haphazard blow, only to be meant as a distraction, the real Kunoichi then came. Kakashi was expecting an axe kick, however Sakura performed a spinning move that put her over Kakashi's shoulder which she attempted to deliver a kick too. The Jonin veered forward but was still clipped by Sakura's heel, sending him sprawling forward. Using his battle experience, Kakashi moved into a roll, the moment he was out of the roll he pushed back and ducked beneath a left hook before spinning around and putting a kunai to Sakura's neck. Both members of the team were breathing heavily for their excursion. Kakashi moved the kunai down to the medics shoulder and tapped her mark, "I think we need to have a talk about this."
The pinkette only closed her eyes in defeat. Letting out a sigh she replied, "Hai," pulling up her collar slightly, "But we might as well wait till Sasuke's here too. There's no point leaving him out too."
And so for Kakashi and Sakura the majority of the rest of the day went on like such. They both trained, with the elder man giving Sakura pointers on her style to improve, attempting to add in more of her natural flexibility rather than always conforming to the rigid structure of Tsunades style. Sasuke and Naruto had been subjected to another day of torment; while not back to her old self the princess did seem happier than the previous days even flirting slightly with both boys. However, rather than in the completely over the top annoying way, it seemed more good natured, if still slightly annoying. The day had involved waiting around while the princess was getting the final adjustments to the princess's wedding dress, getting bored out of their minds as they had to listen to her prattle with the royal planners as to what was going to happen on the day along with final run downs. It got bad enough that Sasuke whispered to Naruto that he may have to protect the royal planners from himself killing them. Naruto only replied that he was more inclined to help his brother than stop him, he got a small chuckle in response. Yuki seemed to notice their boredom and actually apologized. They were absolutely shocked, but didn't show it. The only other interesting thing that happened for the surrogate brothers was when Yuki decided to stroll through the streets of her capital. A girl had come rushing up to the princess, before she could get to arm's length, Naruto had pulled out his blade and pressed the tip to her throat lightly. The princess was quick to react, stopping the blond from possibly killing the poor girl. The girl was just a tourist and wanted an autograph.
As the day came to a close, the evening followed the same routine of attending dinner with the royals. Sakura still prevented her mate from killing the overtly affectionate prince. However, as the day came to a close and Naruto left his clones to guard their charge. Kakashi ordered, "Right to Naruto's and Sakura's room, we need a team talk."
"You're not going to let this go, are you sensei?" asked Sakura.
"Sakura, if your uncomfortable talking about this I won't push you, but I'd rather you tell us, considering how this could affect the team," explained the Jonin. Naruto and Sasuke looked to each other, both equally confused.
Naruto was just surprised that his pinkette could have been hiding something from him when she normally told him everything, however his doubt were put to rest by what she next said, "Sensei found out, I'm sorry Naruto-kun."
Immediately knowing what she was talking about, he brought her in for a hug and kissed her brow. "It's alright Sakura-Chan. To be honest, we were going to have to tell them sooner or later, this just gets it out. We're family and there aren't secrets in family," replied the Jinchuriki smiling.
"Great! So now, everyone other than me knows what we're talking about. Great family," added Sasuke sarcastically. Sakura just lightly punched him in the shoulder while he smiled at Naruto, who returned it. After a short journey to the team's resident couple, they all took seats. Kakashi on a chair near a desk, Sasuke leaned on one of the walls, Sakura on the edge of the bed and the blond lying down on the bed after kicking off his sandals.
"Well I guess I better start," said the teams rosette, "as you know Naruto has marked me with a demonic seal, and well… well actually…. I guess it's best if I show you," dropping the partial genjutsu on her seal she got up of the bed to turn to Naruto, who nodded his assurance. The medic started to zip down her battle kimono till midway then proceeded to lower her clothing down to her back, while covering her front to maintain her modesty. While their time as a team had meant they saw the majority of each other's bodies, they still followed an unwritten law on how far that went.
As soon as Kakashi saw the markings, he was off his chair and behind Sakura on his knee. However, he was in full shinobi mode rather than acting like a pervert. He stared mesmerized by the tattoo on Sakura's back. Pulling up his head band to reveal his sharingan eye he said, "This is amazing, the entire mark is made up on tiny calligraphy markings. This seal is far more complicated than anything I've ever seen; it far surpasses anything that even your father constructed. It's astonishing how intricate these overlapping seals are. I can barely speculate what they do; the only thing I can really seem to gather from this is an array that will change Sakura's charka network. However, without a Hyuuga to tell, we can't be sure to what extent. Sasuke, maybe you'll be able to see?"
Pushing off the wall, the raven haired teen looked at Naruto for permission. He waved in consent. Sasuke then looked at Sakura to confirm who nodded in response. Sending chakra to his eyes, he activated his blood line. Looking beneath the pinkette's skins, he could see a very basic outline of the larger vessels of Sakura chakra network; however, what was curious was that there was a secondary network running parallel to her original one and it was a dark orange-red. "It seems Sakura has developed a secondary network for her chakra which is completely different from her own, it seems more….viscous. It also looks like it's fusing with her original chakra network. Give it a few months and you won't be able to tell them apart. Her chakra capacity also seems to have tripled in size. Hell sensei! She's probably just under you, but last time we checked she never had this much! Given her control, if it came down to purely chakra she'd probably be able to outlast you."
"Hey! Alright I'm zipping back up. I'm not some Fuinjutsu project!"
"I think it'd be best if I explain. Sakura's chakra network, as you can see, has undergone a radical change. The reason for her secondary charka network is because she now is able to use demon chakra," explained the blond Chuunin.
"So you're saying she can use it like you," questioned Kakashi.
"Yes and no," replied Naruto. "She can only use demon chakra in some of its most basic forms, such as performing demon Jutsus and using it to increase her speed, strength and stamina. Kyuubi says with enough training, it is possible for her to reach a one tailed state, though her body simply won't be able to handle going above that. Unlike my body, she hasn't had demon chakra in her body during childhood to allow for the chakra coil expansion necessary to allow full use of the Kyuubi's chakra. However, the demon chakra is also the reason for her sudden expansion in chakra capacity. We were going to tell you but I was hoping it would be when Sakura-Chan had a better grasp on it."
"That's an interesting fact, but the seal on Sakura's back is much too complex simply for that reason alone," added the Uchiha.
"Perceptive Sasuke, as you probably noticed our attitudes have changed towards one another and I don't mean the development of our relationship. The mark changes baser desires and attitudes within our own personalities towards each other and others. As you've seen from our interactions with the princess and others we are much more possessive of each other than you'd normally expect. There are also some other more…volatile changes to her personality." Everyone got what Naruto meant; he was referring to the events that occurred in the days previous involving the bandits.
"You refer to each other as 'mates'. What's that about?" Sasuke questioned again.
"The mark has bonded our souls together in a way higher than a ningen's understanding. I guess the best equivalent we I can give you is marriage, but it is so much more than that, we can physically feel each other in a way we can't describe."
"Thanks for inviting us to the wedding," chuckled Kakashi, "So how did you actually get it in the first place?"
"Umm that's private," Sakura quickly responded, a light blush on her cheeks, the Jonin waved his hand in response.
"Great so we now have a hormonal version of Naruto on our team with super strength. This can only end well," joked Sasuke in his unique way, eyes closed leaning against the wall once more. Sakura sneered at him in response.
"Well Kidde's, I believe that's enough show and tell for one night. We need to be up bright and early for tomorrow. Naruto and I will be on duty, Sasuke, Sakura you two can have the day off, but keep your ears open. This wedding seems to be going just a bit too smoothly," ordered Kakashi, as he and Sasuke started to leave he said, "Naruto, your room."
"Sensei, do you really think two pieces of wood is really going to stop me for staying with Sakura-Chan?" shot Naruto, the elder Jonin shook his head and replied.
"Just make sure you're up there in the morning; otherwise I coming to get you, whatever states you two are in. Ja ne."
The next morning Naruto woke up early and snuck out of the room early as to not disturb Sakura; however, it failed when she soon noticed the lack of the human radiator that she was using as her pillow, suddenly wasn't there. When she realized that he was going to get Kakashi, she snuggled back into the pillow and attempted to get some more sleep. The blond stepped across the hall and knocked on the door, it opened to reveal Kakashi in only a pair of ninja pants. "As if you sleep with your mask on," the blond joked.
"As if you don't sleep in your own room," the Jonin shot back.
"Give me a minute," quickly going back into the room, he pulled on a black body suit top, before flinging on his Jonin jacket. Walking out of the door, the shinobi made their way to Yuki's room.
Coming up to the clones, one of them said, "The prince came to visit, otherwise nothing else to report."
"Any conversations of any interest?"
"Nothing terribly, just some politicking and wedding plans," replied the other clone. The original nodded, signaling them to dispel. It was strange that the prince came to visit but they both put it down to nothing.
Kakashi knocked on the door, "Yuki-sama?" the door opened to reveal the princess in her royal nightwear.
"Ah. Kakashi-san, Naruto-kun, I'll be out in a minute. Just let me get ready," the princess took another half an hour to get ready. Naruto enhanced hearing could pick up the sound of the princess's footsteps coming closer.
"Well, another boring day of guard duty, when we're back in Konoha, remind me to tell Kaa-san to never give us a mission below A-rank," the silver haired man hummed in response.
Meanwhile, Sasuke had already awoken and had readied himself. Pushing the door open to his room, he stepped across the hall, giving a small greeting to a passing maid before knocking on Sakura's door. It quickly opened to reveal the pinkette in a pair of short and a top that left her mid riff exposed. "Ah. Sasuke I didn't expect you to be up so quick."
"Yeah, has Naruto left?" he replied.
"Yeah, so what do you want to do on our day off? I was going to train but my chakra network feels off, not completely used to the demon chakra yet" asked the pinkette.
"Dunno, check out the sights? Look down the route that the happily married couple will be taking tomorrow, you know to check for anything odd and malicious."
"Sounds like a plan. I'll just grab my shoes and we'll be off," true to her word, the medic pulled on her ninja boots and was out of her room. They had to walk out of the palace, considering Sakura had yet to learn the Body Flicker technique. The two team mates walked down the boulevard that the wedding carriage would take the Prince and Princess though. The final pieces of decorating and cleaning up were being attended to; making sure all the lanterns and lights would work, the banners were positioned properly, and other such things. Since they were walking at a civilian pace to look inconspicuous, it took about an hour and a half though they found nothing out of the ordinary.
As the midday sun rose over the capital Sakura asked, "Want to grab a bite to eat?" the raven haired teen nodded in response. Walking into a glass fronted café, Sakura found seats while Sasuke grabbed some menus. Sliding one across to her, the Uchiha took a seat on the opposite side of the pinkette.
Quickly looking through the menu, Sakura decided what she'd have. Taking this as a cue, Sasuke signaled for the waitress. A petite woman in a blue uniform and apron approached them. "Hi! Are you ready to order?" she asked happily.
"Yeah, I'll have the chicken teriyaki with a glass of orange and…" Sasuke paused and waited for his team mate to give her order.
"I'll have the chicken salad and just some water," finished the medic.
"I'll get in that right away," said the waitress before walking away, taking the menus. A silence enveloped the two. The years the two had spent on a team together had brought the two closer which was why Sakura thought that something was on Sasuke's mind, but she waited for him to start.
"Sakura, your friends with Ino, right?" he asked in his usual cool tone.
"Last time I checked," she replied with a mischievous smile on her face, she knew where this conversation was going. "Well, how would you go about asking her out?"
"I wouldn't consider. For one, I don't swing that way, and two, I think you're forgetting the fact of me being eternally bonded to Naruto," she replied sarcastically.
"You know what I mean," Sasuke shot back in a highly irritated tone. Being unable to resist joking around the a bit more, she replied, "Well, you could always sneak into her room at night and surprise her. I'm sure that'd have her falling into your arms. That's what she always wanted when we were little. Though I caution you to not get found by Inoichi, he would mind fuck you and I mean literally mind fuck you if he caught you. Though I could always run interference for you." The waitress came and placed their drinks down, where they both gave curt thanks.
"Sakura, I'm serious," the pinkette knew by the expression on his face that he was and so decided to stop joking around, "I made an Oath to myself that I wouldn't revive my Clan until both you and Naruto found happiness with each other, and you've done that now. The thing is, Ino is interested in me now, but she won't wait forever. This isn't just about reviving my Clan anymore! While I won't say I love Ino, I do have feelings for her. Ones that I want to explore more but I don't know how to. How did you and Naruto start off?" Sakura was taking a sip of her drink when the raven haired teen asked the question, so she started choking on it.
Apparently Sasuke hadn't been told about the night after they had returned from the wave; this still left a huge blush on Sakuras pale cheeks, one which the Uchiha didn't miss. "Look Sasuke, copying what Naruto and I did isn't going to help you. Each girl is different and so what they like is different, but if my friendship with Ino has taught me anything, it's just to tell her. She may act like she wants these grand romantic gestures, but what she really appreciates is someone just being honest with her. So probably the best thing to do is to just ask her out, and give her some chocolates. A girl loves chocolate," advised the pinkette. Sasuke took in Sakura's words and started to contemplate them, the waitress came once more with their meals, she ran through the order once more just to make sure it was for them before leaving. The pair ate, while discussing other issues, as well some general chit chat.
- With Naruto and Kakashi
The day was passing by slowly for the two shinobi that were guarding Yuki, the girl had done nothing other than sit in the palace gardens and pick at some of the flowers, a far off look in her eyes. She was probably thinking about her impending wedding. Hearing the approach of numerous sets of feet, the streaked blond turned his head beneath his hood. Kakashi noticed the subtle movement and turned to look as well. Daichi was walking in, the guards surrounded by a group of men some wearing armor, others wearing military kimonos. "Ah and there is my beautiful fiancée," called out the prince.
Yuki stood up and replied quietly, "Daichi-san." Grabbing her by the waist, he pulled her in for a swift kiss. The princess was caught off guard by this and struggled against it slightly, but then remembered her place and accepted it.
Pulling away, the brown eyed prince awaited the oncoming comments. "A beautiful wife I may say so," said one.
"She will produce a fine heir for you, my Prince," voiced another.
Naruto couldn't help but growl at the way they treated her, he may have held no love for the girl, but what they wanted from her he found unacceptable. Turning to Naruto, Daichi asked, "And where is our beautiful Sakura-Chan." The prince was crossing a very dangerous line, so Naruto decided to remind him of his place.
"Sakura-Chan's whereabouts are none of you concerns Daichi. Where she is, is for me to worry about," said Naruto possessively, the group shocked at him addressing the prince so informally.
"Oh, I was only curious Naruto-san; I imagined she would have been here with you. But I guess she's off frolicking with Sasuke-san. Funny. I always thought she had a thing for you," shot back the prince, his entourage giving him courage to do so.
Daichi had definitely crossed the line now. Naruto had completely faith in both Sasuke and Sakura, he knew that he could let them go out together and they wouldn't do anything behind his back. His trust for them was deep enough that his instincts as the rosette's mates didn't even kick in when he saw them together. However, what the prince was implying was an affront to their honor and friendship. "I would be wary of what you say next, I do not like that condescending tone of yours," warned the Chuunin. The air was thick with tension. Naruto was just waiting for the prince to make a move. One move and he'd have an excuse to snap his neck, break an arm and slice his jugular. Even with Kakashi being so close, the copy-nin wouldn't be able to stop him. A deadly smile appeared on the demon's face.
However, as ever, the silver haired man was the envoy of peace and broke up the standoff, "Daich-sama, I believe that you have things to attend to and they aren't getting done by you standing around here."
"Ah yes. Wise as ever Kakashi-san. It's best that I'm off," and with that, the prince left. One of the men in samurai armor glared at Naruto but a flash of red eyes sent him reeling.
"You're such a kill-joy, sensei," moaned Naruto.
"Yes and by killing your joy, I stopped you from killing the Prince. Need I remind you that we'd have major political fallouts with the Land of Birds afterwards," admonished the Jonin.
"Not if I destroyed it afterwards," replied the blond.
"I question your logic sometimes," he said.
"Only sometimes," joked Naruto. However, something was bugging Naruto. His instincts were telling him to follow the prince. Something there was off about him. "Kakashi-sensei, I've got something to attend to," he said.
The look in his eyes told the Jonin all he needed to know. "Go," said the pervert, opening up his signature orange book. Naruto created a Kyuubi clone, and then started to follow the prince.
Using his stealth skills as a shinobi had meant it was easy to follow the prince's group. He was silent as he followed them, sticking to the shadows to keep out of sight. After following the fool for about fifteen minutes, they came to an older, quieter part of the palace. No maids were running around the corridors doing errands or butlers going to and fro. Ending up at a door, the prince left two people to guard the outside. Hiding behind a corner, the shinobi saw the group enter the room. This complicated things. He couldn't use his invisibility Jutsu to sneak pass as the door had immediately shut. Both of his teleportation techniques would announce his presence and so he would lose his stealth, which was the whole point of following Daichi. Knocking out the guards wasn't viable as it would cause problems if someone walked out and a Henge would be useless as it was more than likely nobody would turn up. Naruto needed a way into that room. He then remembered that he passed a ventilation grill a few moments before hand.
Back tracking a few metres, the blond came up to the grill he passed. Forming a clone, he then Henged it into an insect. As the clone was made up of pure chakra, it didn't have the same constraints on it that a physical being had. Meaning, it could change into shapes much smaller than itself. Flying up into the grill, it flew down the shafts towards the room that the prince had entered. Luckily, the room had a ventilation shaft that allowed direct access to the room. The insect flew into the room and stuck to the ceiling and started listening into the conversation. "So we'll have armed guards outside the chapel, so that we don't have any unexpected guests attending," said one of the generals.
"That's good I also want guards stationed inside the chapel, this will prevent anybody from interrupting the ceremony or in case something happens to stop the princess from signing the certificate," added Daichi.
"What are your plans once the wedding is complete?" asked another general.
"Our men station around the palace will then move in and kill the King, putting me as sole Heir to this country's throne. Afterwards, we'll kill the Princess too. She's useless to me," answered the scheming prince.
"How will you produce an Heir then Daichi-sama," pointed another samurai.
"Ah, you see I have my sights on a certain pink-haired ninja. Quite the exotic beauty I must say, I imagine she's pretty weak, considering she's here with a team. I think my charm will win her over. No woman has ever resisted me and if she's the first, there's always force," he explained.
"And what of the rest of the shinobi's? They seem powerful," was the final question.
"They're all talk. I've tested them and they never react. I have no doubt that our superior numbers will also cause them to be defeated. Now, on to other matters."
Nobody in the room noticed the insect on the ceiling dispelling in a puff of smoke. Meanwhile, Naruto had been leaning on the wall outside the grill, his eyes closed and arms folded. When the memories of what the prince had said flooded his mind, his eyes shot open and he was on the move towards the room sword drawn. Daichi must die, was all that was going through his mind.
Patience kit, patience.
Why Kyuubi? I've heard what he said, what he plans for Sakura-Chan and I will not stand for this, his life is forfeit.
And so it should be. However, only you have heard what he has said. Remember, you now act on behalf of your village, which means you act on behalf of its matriarch; think how this would affect her.
The demon fox had raised a valid point. I need evidence so that nobody would question me afterwards, Naruto thought. The Bijuu agreed in his mind. Leaning against the wall, he performed the Demon Art: Vanishing Fox, and created another bug clone to enter the room and alert him as to when the room was empty. Daichi had left the room roughly three hours after entering; however, the group he left with was smaller, meaning that there were still some people in the room, thus Naruto waited. As evening started to role on, he still had not entered the room, so he decided to send a message to the clone that he had left with Kakashi.
- With Kakashi and Naruto's clone
Walking down the corridor, the clone of Naruto suddenly turned to Kakashi and said, "Please excuse me sensei. I'll be skipping out on dinner. I'm not feeling too well."
This immediately alerted Kakashi to something; Naruto didn't and couldn't get ill. His tenant prevented him from doing so. This was a message to him and the team. Naruto had found something, a plot against the princess maybe? He didn't know any details, but this was a message that was too relayed to the rest of the team. "Would you like me to call for the Palace physicians, Naruto-kun?" asked Yuki concerned.
"No. I'll be fine, I just need some rest," replied the clone and with that, he took his leave before dispelling once out of sight.
Following the usual routine of attending dinners with the royals, the table found itself minus one person. "Naruto-kun?" asked Sakura, more curious than concerned; she knew that there was nothing in this Kingdom that could take him.
"He's not feeling too well," replied the masked man, this was an immediate sign to the rest of the team. Something was up.
"I best go check on him after dinner then," replied Sakura, acting her part in the ploy. She caught the smile on the prince's face. Something was going to happen. Dinner went by very quickly, though there was an undertone of tension between the shinobi.
"I think you to better go and rest up, we've got a busy day tomorrow," ordered Kakashi. This was a code that they would use when with clients to not alert them to anything, it meant prepare yourselves, something's going to happen. The two teen ninja looked at each other before setting off to their separate rooms, while Kakashi stayed to keep up appearances.
- Back with Naruto
It was well past morning and Naruto had still not been able to enter the room. He had been waiting for almost eleven hours. The celebrations for the wedding had already started, the cheers of the hordes of people outside was loud enough to reach his ears. He was starting to think that he may have to end up assaulting the place to get the evidence as time was running out, but as luck would have it, before he attacked the room, the bug clone dispelled. There were two guards in the room who had left, now was the time. Running through some hand seal he performed his Demon Art: Hellfire Teleportation Jutsu, transporting him into the safe room. It was dark inside, yet he could easily see due to his enhanced senses. He started to rummage around to look for evidence, something small enough that wouldn't be noticed, but still incriminating. He opened and shut the draws and moved papers around, being careful not to leave evidence of him being here. Spotting something beneath a pile of papers, he quickly red it and smiled, it was a letter to the prince's father, with plans about the takeover of the Land of Beaches, signed by himself. Daichi had literally just signed his own death warrant. Tucking the piece of paper into his cloak, Naruto then disappeared in a column of black flames.
Reappearing outside his room door, the Jinchuriki quickly stepped inside and shut the door ready to tell Sakura what he'd found. The moment he entered the room though he felt a shift in the air, leaning backwards the blade of a choktou just missed his face. Grabbing the arm that held the blade at the wrist, then pushing at the elbow with his another hand, he flipped the person over while disarming them. A second fist came careening at his head. Ducking beneath the blow, he grabbed the fist with his left hand and spun the arm around the assailant's own body. Naruto then placed the first attackers' choktou, taking a small breath in the blond immediately recognized the scent in front of him and couldn't help but smile. "You did well Sakura-Chan," complemented Naruto, "had it been anyone else, I probably would have been dead by now."
The pinkette huffed in response; there was a series of knocks on the door before it opened revealing Kakashi. The Jonin just stopped when he saw the state of the room, "Did I miss something?"
Letting go of Sakura and throwing Sasuke's weapon back to him, the blond replied nonchalantly, "No. Just my team mates trying to kill me."
Shutting the door, while making sure no one was listening in, the silver haired man asked, "So are you going to tell us why you decided to skip dinner?"
"I've uncovered a plot on the princess's life," stated Naruto.
"I assume it's more complicated than what you're letting on," added Sasuke.
"Yuki's oh so loving husband is going to kill her," replied the blond.
"And who said romance was dead?" joked Sakura. "You do realize what this means, don't you?"
"Yeah, we're going have to save a princess," answered Naruto.
Kakashi was deep in thought, "Naruto, I hope you understand the kind of backlash this could have on Konoha if you're wrong."
"I'm not wrong, sensei. I've got proof," assured the cloaked teen.
"I don't care if you have proof. If you believe that Daichi is up to something, then I believe you." What Kakashi had just said struck a chord in Naruto; the Jonin had placed all his trust in him, if something went wrong it would be Kakashi that took the blame.
"He was also going to attempt to take Sakura as his own. One does not simply fuck with my precious people and not expect to die," this perked the team's attention.
"When do we strike?" asked Kakashi.
"We can't do it while they're in the carriage; cause then we won't be able to get the evidence to the King, without having to kill half he royal guard. The best option would be in the chapel, if he orders his guards to attack us, then it will only further show his deceit."
"Well, it looks like we have a wedding to crash then," jested Sasuke.
The royal wedding was going all according to plan; the prince had rode in through the city gates on his stallion, before dismounting to meet his soon-to-be-queen. Placing a chaste kiss on her hand, he then stepped into the gold and red open air carriage before offering a hand to Yuki, who accepted and sat next to him in the carriage. The procession ahead of the carriage was the entire royal guard of the Land of Beaches mounted on cavalry. Behind the carriage was a procession of drummers, more military personal and the remainder of the royal family. The crowds threw flower, streamers and petals onto the procession filling the air with a variety of colors of confetti. After a few minutes of trotting along the procession reached the inner courtyard of the Palace, the carriage stopped outside a set of stairs, covered with a red carpet, leading into the Palace and chapel. A guard came and opened the carriage door for the prince. Stepping outside of the vehicle the prince once more offered his hand to help his bride down, which she graciously accepted as per public expected. The couple walked through the corridors of the Palace the procession, now on foot, and passed through a set of grand wooden doors. The prince and princess walked towards the altar and stood at the ready.
The princess was wearing her white wedding kimono with silver stars embroiled on it. Daichi had donned a military Kimono, medals strapped valiantly to his chest a ceremonial sword at his waist. People fortunate enough to be invited to the chapel started to sit down on the expensive white seats provided. There was a small water feature in the chapel, creating a circle around the seats, separating them from the guards who were standing around the outside near the wall and large stained glass window. Down the central column were men in full samurai armor, each member carrying a two handed axe.
Finally, the priest arrived in his own ceremonial robe. The final event was about to begin. Opening a book the priest started to recite a prayed and blessing for the two people in front of them. "We come here today to bind these two people in the sight of Kami," began the priest, "She has brought together these two people today and I now beseech you to drink the wine in her name."
The prince picked up a small cup from the altar and drained its content. As he placed his cup down, Yuki picked her own up and drained the contents. It was bitter, like she was drinking her own freedom away. "And now, as Kami fed your life in the beginning, feed each other here at your new beginning." The engaged couple picked up the second set of cups and placed them to each other's lips and drank the wine from them. "Now, please sign the certificate to bind you legally," the princess bent over a scribed her signature. Before the prince could do his own, the priest spoke up once more, "Before this woman is allowed to sign this document, does anyone here object to the binding of these two souls?" Yuki looked out hopeful onto the crowd, for somebody to stop the procession for something to hinder the inevitable, but no one came, there was no declaration of love from a stranger, some crying out to stop this madness. Resigning herself to her fate, she slowly turned around.
Suddenly, the two grand doors at the end of the chapel were kicked open and four shinobi stood defiant, Naruto at the head of the group. "I object!" called the blond, "for his soul is mine!" He pointing angrily at the prince.
"What is the meaning of this, Naruto-san?" cried the prince.
"Daichi, this letter heads you as part of a plot to assassinate the princess. In the eyes of Konoha, I deem you as a threat to the princess and must be eliminated," ordered the blond in a chillingly monotone voice.
Spinning around quickly, the prince scribbled his flamboyant signature across the line and held it aloft in the air, "You are too late! The princess is already mine!"
Thinking quickly Kakashi, threw a shuriken at the piece of paper, tearing it from the prince's grasp and sticking it into the wall behind the altar, beneath a candle where it was set alight, "We're never too late," said Kakashi.
Rage overtook the prince. "Kill them!" he shouted. With those words, he had proven his intentions to everyone.
"That's just what I hope you were going to say," said Naruto, rushing forward while the rest of the team dealt with the guards. As soon as the fighting started, everyone started to scream and run for the exit.
Sakura moved to the right, delivering a one-two combination to the first guard. One went to his face, breaking the face plate of the armour and crushing his face in. The second blow was to the stomach, breaking ribs and rupturing organs. As the man fell to the ground dying, a spearman behind the first blood thrust his weapon forward. Ducking beneath the weapon and spinning around, the pinkette used her momentum to deliver a chakra enhanced kick to the person's spine, completely destroying it and him.
A second spear man tried a sweep attack, but the medic got in front of the swipe and stopped it. Using her superior strength, Sakura pulled the weapon out of the man's grasp flipped it over before spinning around in her own swipe. The blade of the weapon caught the spearman's throat, causing blood to spurt out everywhere. There were now only two opponents left on her side. The first blocked a downwards slash from Sakura's spear. He shoved her off but didn't unbalance the kunoichi, and followed up to a strike to the demoness's leg. However, she stamped down on the incoming weapon. Her enhanced senses making look like it was moving in slow motion. In return, Sakura pivoted on one foot and gracefully shoved the weapon into the man's gut, before pulling it out and slashing upwards. A large wound opened up from the man's stomach to his lip, saturating the floor in blood. Back flipping to avoid another strike, the rosette took a step back and threw her spear, with chakra enhanced muscles, at the final opponent. Caught completely off guard, the spear went through the man's chest; pinning him to the wall behind. He struggled for a moment before his body went limp and the light left his eyes.
Sasuke was dealing with opponents on the other side of the chapel. He had jumped over his first opponent and delivered a powerful kick to the swordsman's face, knocking him out in one blow. Back flipping off of his victim's face, the Uchiha returned to his original opponent. Blocking a back handed slash with his choktou, he swung around and cut the attacker's tendon on his leg, causing the soldier to cry out in pain and drop to one knee. Sasuke then chopped the back of his neck; knocking him out. "Chidori Senbon," Sasuke called sending out lightening Senbon at the opponent in front of him, puncturing all his pressure points. Dropping the weapon, the samurai started to spasm and drop to the floor, where his body continued to convulse. A slightly larger sword swung at Sasuke from his right, bringing up his choktou in the reverse grip, it was easily blocked. The sharingan user then channeled lightening chakra to his blade and cut his opponents sword in half. The sudden lose in both friction and weight caused the samurai to stubble forwards. Taking the wonderful opportunity, Sasuke grabbed his arm and pulled, swiftly dislocating it. Cartwheeling in the air over the enemy, Sasuke stuck his sword in the ground and used it as a pedestal. He twisted his body into a hand stand on it as he delivered a powerful kick to his remaining opponent's face. The power from the blow sent him flying into the ordered chairs, throwing them about and knocking him out.
Kakashi had been lucky, as he only had three opponents to deal with. The first was a large man wielding an axe that Naruto had jumped over. The brute swung the giant weapon around wildly, spinning and moving into a downwards slash, hoping to cleave Kakashi in two. But Kakashi had maneuvered so that his opponents attack landed square in the shoulder of another enemy, killing him out right and lodging the weapon deep within bone. Running through a few seals, Kakashi said, "Raikiri," and threw his palm at his opponent's heart. His lightning covered hand slid effortlessly through the bamboo breast plate, flesh, bone, and out through the other side. Quickly withdrawing his limb, he slide out of the way and towards the third enemy who had started to run away in fear at seeing his comrades being killed. Pulling out several kunai, the Jonin threw them at the coward's back. Each one landed solidly in the square of his back; the silver haired man had put enough power in to knock him down and incapacitate him, but not kill him. The man who had become a pin cushion, reached out before giving up.
While this had all been happening, Naruto had jumped over his first opponent, letting Kakashi deal with him. The blond landed and rolled so that he was in the mist of the enemy troop, surrounded. Quickly drawing his sword, the demon stood up, slashing the axe man in front of him at the legs. The wound brought the axe wielder to his knees where he received a sword through the chest. Leaving the sword embedded in the dead man, Naruto spun around on his heel and blocked an incoming axe strike with crossed hands. Grabbing the two handed weapon, he kicked its holder in the knee, causing him to lose his grip. Wrestling the weapon from his grasp, Naruto swung the axe at the weapons owner's legs, cutting them off before spinning around, and slamming the weapon in the legless man's chest. Reaching back over to grab his sword and pulling it free, the Chuunin deflected another axe strike by hitting the hilt of the weapon with his own black blade, causing it to strike the ground. Holding the two handed axe with one hand, he threw it around and struck the assailant in the side. The weapon going halfway into the dying person's body. Whipping around, the blue eyed teen spun his weapon around and sliced the final opponent surgically from hip to shoulder. He had loaded the blade with chakra and released it on contact, sending the receiver flying into the air. Gripping the flying man in mid-flight with his chakra, Naruto closed his fist, causing the man to wriggle and scream out as his body was crushed then slammed him down hard into the floor, breaking every bone in his body; effectively killing him. Sheathing his blade, the cloaked man turned his sights to Diachi.
Shoving the princess aside, the prince pulled out his own sword. The fear was evident on his face, but he was controlling it fairly well. Thrusting the weapon forward, the Prince attempted to strike Naruto in his right lung. Grabbing the blade of the weapon with his bare left hand, the blond put his mouth next to the princes' ear, "Ceremonial blades are strong," flicking his wrist, Naruto broke part of the blade off, "but brittle." Bring his hand down hard, Naruto cut the prince's arm off at the elbow, causing the man to give out a cry of pain. Cocking his left arm back, he then thrust the shattered blade into Daichi's stomach before pushing it up under the prince's ribcage and through his main organs. Blood bubbled out of the prince's mouth and down his chin; pooling onto the floor. Dropping to his knees, the prince clutched aT his stomach, attempting to stem the waterfall of blood pouring of his gut and pooling on the floor. Stretching his right arm forward, Naruto gripped the prince's throat with chakra and lifted him into the air.
"When you decided to kill the princess, I was going to kill you. But when you said you were going to take Sakura-Chan away from me, your soul was forfeit," said Naruto monotonously. The prince opened his mouth to say something, but just ended up coughing up blood as Naruto's chakra squeezed on his trachea further. Flinging his arm to the right, the prince flew through the air and crashed along the chairs, bouncing a few times before smashing through the glass and plummeting twenty floors to the ground. There was a satisfying sound of flesh hitting stone. "Congratulations, you're now a widow," said Naruto before walking off to his team.
Even though the room was now coated in blood and bodies lay strewn about Yuki couldn't help but smile. "Arigatou," said the princess quietly, Naruto only smirk as he picked it up.
The team converged at the doors to the chapel, "Well, that was interesting. I never knew royal weddings were such fun," joked Sakura.
"Not exactly my definition of fun Sakura," replied Sasuke.
"Yeah, well… it certainly wasn't boring," smiled Naruto, "Well I guess it's all in a day's work, save the princess, stop an invasion."
"Get the girl?" voiced the pinkette.
Wrapping his arm around her waist he pulled her closer. "I've already got the girl," he said, grinning before kissing her on her head.
"We've made quite a mess, haven't we? I guess we've got something explaining to do with the King, considering we just killed his son-in-law," added the team leader, before he went off to go and find the King.
The team had stayed for a further two days in the royal palace. However, they didn't have to guard the princess any longer. It was mainly talks with the King about what had happened, showing the evidence to him. It was safe to say that he was furious and clearing out any of Daichi's troops that were left.
Now, the team was just outside the Palace gates. The King and princess both wanted to see them off. "Is there anything I could do that would reward you for such a service to my country?" questioned the King.
"Actually, there is," said Naruto.
"Anything," assured the King. Signaling to Kakashi, who brought forward the trade agreement. "We also came here on a diplomatic mission to enter into this trade agreement with you. Sign this and we'll call everything even." Holding out a hand, a butler placed a golden pen into it; taking the paper, the King signed it without even reading any of the text.
"I hope I will get to deal with more people of Konoha as honorable as you," said the King.
"Oh, and… I'd advise you to let your daughter choose her husband next time," said Naruto before turning to leave, his team followed after him.
- Time skip: 2 days
It had taken the team less time to get home then it had to get to the Land of Beaches, as they were moving at a much faster pace and they didn't stop as much. They were currently only a few hours out from Konoha if they kept jumping through the trees. A puff of smoke appeared on Sakura's shoulder, revealing a slug, one which Sakura wasn't familiar with. Hearing the summon, Kakashi raised his fist signaling the squad to stop. Halting on the next branch they landed on, they all turned to Sakura. "Sakura-sama, I have a message for Naruto-san," squeaked the small green slug, before regurgitating a sealed letter. Jumping over to Naruto, she handed the letter to him, it was from Tsunade. Breaking the seal and opening up the letter it read:
Your team is later back then the estimated time, so I assume that something must have come up. I'm writing to ask, on your way back, if you would be able to collect some money from a client who has yet to pay for numerous D-ranked missions. The map is enclosed.
"Kakashi-sensei, Kaa-san has given me and Sakura-Chan a separate mission. Could you return to Konoha and report in for me," asked the blond.
"Sure thing," replied the sensei.
"See you back in Konoha," added Sasuke before the team split of into two.
Looking at Naruto, Sakura asked, "Tsunade-shisou asked me to join you?"
"No, but I commandeered you," laughed the Chuunin. Looking down at the map, he checked his position by the sun and then started heading off to his destination, Sakura soon following.
- Time skip: Half an Hour later
After running for a short period of time, the two teens ended up in a small town, probably only just large enough to be self-sufficient. It only took a few minutes to look around before they found the shop they wanted. It was a small hardware shop, which had probably used all the D-ranked missions to build the place. Opening the door, a small bell rang alerting the owner to the couple's presence. He was a stout fat man with a thick moustache on his top lip and a partially balding head. "Ah! What can I do for you, my two young friends," said the man happily.
"We've come to collect the money that you owe Konoha," said Naruto resounded.
The man's smile faltered. "I don't know what you're talking about," he denied.
"I think you do," said Naruto calmly.
"I don't think your welcome here any longer. I'd like you to leave. Tsunade isn't getting anything out of me," he said angrily motioning to the door.
Sakura then placed her hand on her mate's shoulder, "Naruto-kun, let me handle this." Nodding in response, Sakura sauntered over to the counter.
"You're not getting anything out of me missy. ahh," the man cried out as he received a right hook to the face from the teen. Naruto cocked his head back at the surprise of what just happened. The medic then walked round the counter, grabbed the man by the arm and threw him into a shelf.
Opening the till Sakura grabbed the money and put it into a pouch. Spotting a safe beneath the counter, the rosette pulled it out using her chakra enhanced strength and put into the counter, "Oh, you have nothing to give to Shishou? I think you do?" Punching into the metal box, she placed her hands on either side of the hole she created and ripped the safe in half. "Oh, I think that this is enough to cover the cost," said Sakura sarcastically, emptying the safe into a pouch. "Oh! Can't forget the interest," she said adding the final bits of money into the pouch. Walking back up to Naruto, she said, "I think that's everything." The shop owner got back up, but went straight back down when he received a back hand to his nose from Sakura.
"That was so sexy," Naruto whispered huskily, before he smacked her on her rear. She gasped slightly at his bravado before giving a mischievous smirk and biting her lip.
"And this will teach you not to cross Kaa-san again," warned the blond. His right hand was engulfed in flames as he touched a wooden beam, the flames licking up at the wood before searing across it and violently spreading to other parts on the building. The two teens back out of the building and into the forest not even bothering to look back at all the people trying to put out the raging flames.
- Hokage Tower
Tsunade was currently filling out forms while talking to the ANBU Chief Captain. Kakashi had come back with Sasuke, reporting that the mission was a success, with the added bonus of the trade agreement being signed. Naruto wasn't present and neither was Sakura, which probably meant that he had taken her along with him. The Hokage was brought out of her musing by a knock on the door. "Come in," she shouted. The door opened to reveal the people that she was thinking about. "Naruto, Sakura, I assume your errand was a success?"
To her surprise, it was Sakura that threw her the bag of money, "The client required a little persuasion, but Sakura was easily able to handle it," responded Naruto.
"Well done, Sakura," complimented the blonde.
Naruto stared at the ANBU captain who was standing next to his Kaa-san. He gazed focuses as he drowned out the conversation between the two women in the room. Naruto's eyes took on a cold hard look to them, piercing into the eye sockets in the tiger mask. The ANBU captain was surprised at the intensity of the Chuunins gaze before him, he had heard rumours of Naruto's strength; he hadn't believed them up till now. The look in his eyes convinced the ANBU in a moment, a look of determination, loyalty and power. "Come on Naruto-kun, let's go," said the kunoichi, holding onto her mate's arm.
The teen turned around but kept eye contact for as long as possible, a dark look in those cold steely blue orbs. "So where do you want to go? Your place or mine," asked the Jinchuriki.
"Hmm, let's go to yours. I know what you're like in mornings and this time I don't want to be interrupted," she laughed in response as they walked through the door.
The ANBU captain continued to observe the young man as he walked from the room. "I'd say you're jealous, Taichou, judging by the look in your eyes," said the ANBU.
"Admiration, my Lady," replied the masked man, arms crossed over his chest.
"His power," was his statement. "I've read his file my lady. Killing Orochimaru at the age of sixteen? And the feat in the Wave, something I would be hard pressed to do with a squad of my finest."
"Please elaborate further; I'm interested in what you think of him," asked the buxom woman.
"The Jinchuriki is able to sway people to his cause, warping the very foundations of their beliefs to see things his way. He protects those who are precious to him in an unbelievably furious and righteous manner. I would say he has the Will of Fire in him, but his will is all encompassing and consuming. I would describe it more as the Will of the Inferno. His fighting capabilities are only matched by his hostility. He's loyalty and unwavering. A survivor willing to do anything asked of him, even at the cost of his life. He's a perfect shinobi. Vision unclouded of conscious or unobstructed by delusions of morality," finished the ANBU captain. Tsunade leaned forward in her chair and placed her fingers in a triangle in front of her. She gazed at the door Naruto had just walked through, the captain's words on her mind; unobstructed by delusions of morality.
- Chapter end
Well that' another chapter finished. It only took like two years. However now I promise that I will try and update faster than previously. The main point of this actual chapter was to show the team dynamics and how the team interacts. Any way please read and review, the longer the better I love feedback and it gives me more motivation to keep on writing! Also tell me if there are any scenarios you would like to see, you may just see them.